IraqFilter Really Sucks. July 22, 2007 7:51 PM   Subscribe

IraqFilter Is Awful. Is there some wide swath of MeFi users who derive a lot of enjoyment or benefit out of posts like this, which seem to surface whenever somebody pens an op-ed that criticizes the Iraq war (i.e., fairly frequently)? Here's the pattern: (1) op-ed is published; (2) op-ed is copied to MeFi; (3) posters say how bad President Bush is; (4) a poster or two will defend the administration; and (4) posters will attack the defenders until they no longer respond. Am I the only one who thinks that is tedious?
posted by Slap Factory to MetaFilter-Related at 7:51 PM (416 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

War is hell.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:59 PM on July 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


MeFi is often called a "community blog."

While it may be tedious, it's the collective thought/opinion of the community that reads the site.

I just skip over it when I'm sick of it, and you should too. If you are incapable, perhaps MeFi isn't the right community for you?
posted by twiggy at 8:00 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Hey! Look out for that bus!"

"Shut up about the oncoming bus. I want to look at furries doing dance routines."

Splat.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:00 PM on July 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


In agreement with the tedious-ness. I'm beginning to feel the same way after this thread discussed something similar.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:03 PM on July 22, 2007


Am I the only one who thinks that is tedious?

no, you're just the only one who chose to spread that tedium to metatalk today
posted by pyramid termite at 8:04 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's right. Because I can't see a fucking bus without you banging me over the head.
posted by found missing at 8:05 PM on July 22, 2007 [4 favorites]


Two posts on the war by the same user four days apart seems a bit much. However standing by itself today's post isn't deletion-worthy.
posted by gubo at 8:07 PM on July 22, 2007


If you think y2karl just posts whatever opinion pieces he finds, you're nuts. Save your vitriol for something worthy of it: calling out karl is old and busted. The new hotness is complaining about your deletions.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:09 PM on July 22, 2007


No, I'm wrong. The new new hotness is complaining about relationship-filter and rehab-filter in askme. That heroin MeTa is a thing of beauty!
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:11 PM on July 22, 2007


Absolutely. We have discussed this approximately 100 times here. Shall I lay out all the arguments and get it over with?

Talking Points for Side A:
*Iraq is important
*I like posting about Iraq and I am a member of this site
*Many people like these posts
*If you don't like it don't click on it
*Censorship is bad
*We have to rally opposition to this war
*If you don't like Iraq posts it is because your head is in the sand or perhaps up your ass

Talking Points for Side B:
*Metafilter is supposed to be the best of the web
*We can read this same shit everywhere else
*You can talk about this shit everywhere else
*Politics poisons the site and drives away users who are not part of the group think
*These posts are pretty much all the same
*Making web posts against the war to people who are already against the war is just jerking off
*Get your own blog fuck wit

I missed a few points on each side, but that is the gist of it.
posted by LarryC at 8:14 PM on July 22, 2007 [16 favorites]


If you're referring to rockhopper defending the war, I wouldn't defend that guy one bit. He's either a fucking moron neocon or he was trolling. Hopefully he never comes back after his week off.
posted by puke & cry at 8:16 PM on July 22, 2007


As far as IraqFilter goes, y2karl's are pretty damn good.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:16 PM on July 22, 2007


In a perfect world I would have just killed the thread with the above, but alas, this sucker will go to 200 comments it it doesn't get closed first.
posted by LarryC at 8:16 PM on July 22, 2007


y2karl's posts take craps that are better posts than almost everything else here.
posted by mkultra at 8:22 PM on July 22, 2007 [7 favorites]


On the plus side, there was a banhammer in the current thread.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:23 PM on July 22, 2007


That post was a little week, but most of y2karl's Iraq posts are quite good and not just posts to Op-eds. Also we don't have as much Iraqfilter as we did say a year or two ago. If you really can't stand two posts in a week, maybe you are thinking about the issue a whole lot more than you let on.
posted by afu at 8:24 PM on July 22, 2007


Know, your week.
posted by found missing at 8:26 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


As far as IraqFilter goes, y2karl's are pretty damn good.

Especially as they are usually indented, making them easier to spot & skip past.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:26 PM on July 22, 2007


Wow, I take it Rockhopper wrote some ban worthy comments that were deleted?
posted by LarryC at 8:27 PM on July 22, 2007


As far as IraqFilter goes, y2karl's are pretty damn good.

I agree, however I personally dislike them for MetaFilter for a few reasons. The blockquote format doesn't fit in with the rest of the site and the IraqFilter posts are almost always in that format. The same with taking up the first four inside comments with more blockquotes and links. It's just not the way MeFi is supposed to work. It's classic GYOB activity. There are always a small group of people who enjoy them and I think at this point they're being skipped by most MeFites. They get flagged a lot (it used to be they'd get some "fantastic" flags, less so now, but stil some favorites) and are hard to moderate as they often result in a lot of infighting and insulting in the comments. And at the same time the comment sections are almost always rehashing pretty similar stuff. The same people taking the same sides.

If they were once every month or two or so, I think I'd feel differently. As it is, I honestly feel that they're IRAQ UPDATE posts which means that, from a moderator perspective, none of them are different from any other and if we took a stance and removed one of them then we'd have taken some precedent-setting stance to basically disallow this sort of post. They're in a class by themselves so you either need to keep them all or delete them all, there's no other way they break the guidelines in any strict sense.

I know that calling these posts "tedious" does tend to get the "well don't you think the Iraquis think the war is tedious, when they're not busy getting killed?" and yes, the war is terrible in my opinion. However, another post to MetaFilter about the same terrible war that is, in most cases still being terrible in the same ways, seems to me to not really be the sort of thing we shoudl encourage or continue to sustain here. I basically hand off deletion choices for these posts to mathowie or cortex because I feel like I've made up my mind about them. I'd like to see y2karl get his own blog for them. I think people would read them.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:29 PM on July 22, 2007 [13 favorites]


Wow, I take it Rockhopper wrote some ban worthy comments that were deleted?

He made some dumb remark, then turned it into a game about himself, as he did in a few other threads. Something like: "look at me, you silly leftiez! I'm on a cross! Whee!"
posted by Burhanistan at 8:30 PM on July 22, 2007


We shouldn't discuss any and all developments in regards to Iraq on MetaFilter.

Our time is best spent talking about David Beckham's Galaxy debut (OMG ... Katie Holmes Cruise and daughter Suri were there !!!).
posted by ericb at 8:40 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


"developments"
posted by found missing at 8:44 PM on July 22, 2007


Our time is best spent talking about David Beckham's Galaxy debut

That wouldn't be Best of the Web, either.
posted by deern the headlice at 8:45 PM on July 22, 2007


I think rockhopper was a systemic problem child, not so much that he made some annoyingly trollish/look at me! comments in one thread, but that that is almost exclusively what he does/did.

There have been a number of Iraq threads already deleted within the past few days, so I think the roar is a little less then you would think. Flag 'em if you want, or even drop a note to an admin. These days I think such actions are more beneficial than Meta.
posted by edgeways at 8:48 PM on July 22, 2007


If they were once every month or two or so, I think I'd feel differently.

Looking y2karl's history they do seem to be about every month or two. Two in July, none in June, one post about Desert Storm in May, one in April and one in March. Unless you are deleting some of his Iraq related posts, he doesn't seem to post them that much. He does post a lot of Politicsfilter, but I think his post's qaulitry are usually above average.
posted by afu at 9:00 PM on July 22, 2007


I'd like to see y2karl get his own blog for them.

I seem to recall him saying clearly that he's not interested in doing that, and further (although I'm more hazy about this) that that is because he has an audience here.

Me, I have no problem with the occasional post about the Iraq debacle and the dissolution of America and all of that, for what it's worth. I understand the impulse of outrage and despair that drives people to make them, I think, even if I don't allow myself to get similarly worked up about it. And watching people argue on the internet is more fun than actually doing it sometimes.

The posts feed my schadenfreude in a pleasing way, and hell, anything's better than another wanky Youtube 1-linker.

Am I the only one who thinks that is tedious?

Yes, yes you are. You are special, and you are smart. We love you.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:03 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


a poster or two will defend the administration

I wouldn't call those comments any sort of defense. They are worthless driveby sort of nonsense. Just LGF filler noise. Guys like Rockhopper don't stick around to "debate" or defend they make some goofy strawman statement and then run.

I like most of Y2Karls posts. They are most definitely NOT typical newsfilter. After all heaven forbid we be reminded of the nasty business of war between Harry Potter posts.
posted by tkchrist at 9:05 PM on July 22, 2007


Also: I meant to say 'wacky' not 'wanky'. Minor difference, I know.

Also also: this thread is kinda eponysterical.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:13 PM on July 22, 2007


The only issue I have with these is the blockquotes. I wouldn't mind seeing them edited or deleted just because of that.
posted by puke & cry at 9:16 PM on July 22, 2007


As was stated y2karl has already said he has no interest in his own blog. Compared to his audience here, he'd be writing to almost no one. So although I agree with Jessamyn this callout is pointless. It's deja vu all over again.

After all heaven forbid we be reminded of the nasty business of war between Harry Potter posts.

You're assuming that people completely put the war out of their minds until they come to metafilter and then OMG there's a war! Your assumption is incorrect.
posted by justgary at 9:20 PM on July 22, 2007


You assumed I assumed. And I assumed no such thing. Your assumption is also incorrect.
posted by tkchrist at 9:35 PM on July 22, 2007


If you don't like the post, flag it and move on. It's not hard.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:38 PM on July 22, 2007


If you don't like the post, flag it and move on. It's not hard.

Also, keep names that aren't participating in the thread out of the thread. It's not hard.
posted by justgary at 9:41 PM on July 22, 2007


Excuse me?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:49 PM on July 22, 2007


Go to bed.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:52 PM on July 22, 2007


All in a days work...
posted by Derek at 9:53 PM on July 22, 2007


I like some IraqFilter. Mostly because I like watching it evolve. Bear with me for a second.

Roll back four years and some change when the war started and remember how strident and powerful those conservative voices were. How much fear they spread. How strongly they wanted to shout down anyone opposed to the war. You're just not hearing as much from these people anymore during these posts. Now it's just a pathetic little peep of protest.

If anything, I use it as a way of looking at support for the war amongst people who aren't the cheese-eating, easily-led proles who were originally bought with a three hundred dollar tax cut.
posted by adipocere at 10:08 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's because we ran all the thoughtful conservatives away from this site years and years ago.
posted by LarryC at 10:10 PM on July 22, 2007


If Y2 got his own blog, he'd have to post every day, rather then once every few months. Also "Galaxy" is such a wussy name for a sports team.
posted by delmoi at 10:19 PM on July 22, 2007


That's because we ran all the thoughtful conservatives away from this site years and years ago.

Name three. (One or two aren't enough to support your point - the more the better - go for five!)

And while you're at it, give me at least three examples of "thoughtful conservatives" writing anywhere else on the web, to calibrate your definition of the term. I was under the impression they went extinct years and years ago.
posted by wendell at 11:05 PM on July 22, 2007


All those in favor of replacing IraqFilter with NAMBLAFilter or BringBackSlaveryFilter raise your virtual hands.
posted by davy at 11:11 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


y2karl's posts and others like them are wonderful. I'd rather see them than a zillion one-link Youtube thingies, or any more posts about doggie dildos and/or men who love RealDolls.
posted by davy at 11:16 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


give me at least three examples of "thoughtful conservatives" writing anywhere else on the web

Hitch, P.J. O'Rourke, Mark Steyn, Andrew Coyne (probably unknown to anyone outside Canada)

The problem is, Conservatives tend to forget that war involves dying and other sorts of unpleasantness, or, if they do remember that dirty little fact, they trot out the old lie, that it is good and great to die for your country.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:20 PM on July 22, 2007


If y'all ever object to an addiction of mine please don't make me go cold turkey in a small car on the Interstate for 600 miles. It's more humane to shoot me while I'm looking at bunnies.
posted by davy at 11:21 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mark Steyn?
posted by delmoi at 11:31 PM on July 22, 2007


I hope I can understand and sympathize with Jessamyn's irritation at having to clean out the stables over and over again because of these posts, even though my own appetite for them is undiminished and I always learn things I consider important from them, but as I went through this one I had (something like adipocere did, perhaps) a sense of a sudden and unexpected change in the weather.

People here are so much more worked up about Iraq than they were just two weeks ago, it frightened me a little. If the country as a whole is moving anywhere near as fast as we are on this war, anything could happen.

And most of that anything is likely to be really bad.
posted by jamjam at 11:35 PM on July 22, 2007


>>That's because we ran all the thoughtful conservatives away from this site years and years ago.

>Name three. (One or two aren't enough to support your point - the more the better - go for five!)


You weren't talking to me, but OK, off the top of my head, if I remember correctly: evanizer, UncleFes, and MidasMulligan (who I loathed, but who was at least thoughtful).

The meaning of the word 'conservative' has, of course, been so polluted by small-brained shouters in the media and on the internet and here and everywhere else in recent years as to be rendered meaningless.

There is nothing wrong with being 'conservative', any more than there is with being 'liberal'. They are both sensible and perfectly valid ways of ordering one's beliefs, no matter how often stupid people whip out the words as knee-jerk pejoratives so they can construct easy targets out of their neighbours.

If the current American government actually were conservative in any real sense, you wouldn't be ass deep in unwinnable foreign wars.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:37 PM on July 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


If these posts were popping up several times a day, then, sure, it would get annoying. Even then I'd simply look down five lines to the next fpp.

As it is, I appreciate y2karl's posts, especially in light of the beginning of the end of western civilization fucked-up situation we find ourselves in these days.
posted by exlotuseater at 11:39 PM on July 22, 2007


It's true. y2karl's posts are utterly tedious. The ensuing discussion is invariably merely an idiotic chorus nitwits congratulating each other for opposing the war punctuated by nitwits taking needlessly combative opposing stances. This is largely because the average Mefite has the political intelligence of a hummingbird, but there you go.

Anyway, it's been complained about before, and it's not going to change. Sorry.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 11:51 PM on July 22, 2007


The meaning of the word 'conservative' has, of course, been so polluted by small-brained shouters in the media and on the internet and here and everywhere else in recent years as to be rendered meaningless.

Exactly. The word "Conservative" has come to mean pro-war and the word "liberal" or "left" now means "against the war" or at least "angry about the war". There are lots of thoughtful people who might otherwise be considered "conservatives" but who don't like the war, making them "liberals"
posted by delmoi at 11:56 PM on July 22, 2007


Unless you are deleting some of his Iraq related posts, he doesn't seem to post them that much.

As for the war, it just isn't going away. I am sick of it, too, sick and horrified and sad and confused but it just isn't going away for me at all. What have we become ?

Here, look at the Iraq tags. Yes, the first two are mine. Now scroll down. Scroll all the way through the beginning of June. Look at all that. I made two posts. Two posts of quotes and links with no added language. Two post in two weeks which are also two posts in two months. I'm not planning on doing any more soon.

It's impossible to look at this from the God's eye view when you are a principal. But a few things are clear to me. I don't post crappy links. My posts are always a lot more than an op-ed. They are quotes of and links to well written pieces providing a wealth of information and what opinons are given are informed opinions from people with considerable expertise and background related to the topic on hand.

I don't write anything anymore--I quote everything because I will get heat for even writing a title in my own words. The same links,were they not as a courtesy designed to be instantly recognizable, and. most especially. were my name not on them, would draw never draw a complaint not a flag. Two posts in two months, providing bit more information than just an op-ed. Do I feel singled out ? Fuck, yes. That's how I see it. But, like I said, it's impossible to be objective when people are taking shots at you. But I just don't think two posts in two months is breaking the machine.

I rarely comment beyond providing additional links. I regret ever reacting personally to what someone has written but sometimes I do. Beyond that, I am not responsible for what other people say, either to or about me or to or about anyone else.

I do not regret posting only two posts in two months. That does not seem a horrible abuse of the system to me.

I did note this at the Iraq tag page:
Users that often use this tag:
jessamyn (60)
dilettante (39)
insomnia_lj (34)
amberglow (33)
digaman (32)
homunculus (31)
y2karl (29)
blue_beetle (28)
kirkaracha (22)
CKmtl (21)
Rumple (20)
I, ahem, am by no means at the top of that list.
posted by y2karl at 12:06 AM on July 23, 2007 [8 favorites]


IraqFilter is a "group hate" for lefties. It's a way of bonding socially by reaffirming membership in the group and reaffirming ideological integrity. It also reassures the participants, making them feel warm and fuzzy by being part of the group, as they all tell one another, "See! We were right after all!"

In all important regards, it is a secular religious ceremony.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:25 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh come on, that's nonsense, Steven, for all but the handful of doctrinaire True Believers (of which I admit there are a small but vocal number).

But just in case, I'm calling dibs on His Holiness Pope Moonbat I.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:29 AM on July 23, 2007


jessamyn and dilettante are at the top of the list because of their back-tagging efforts; note that neither of them has ever posted any actual FPPs with that tag, if thats the, ahem, point youre trying to make.

and its a little disingenuous to claim that you're unfairly singled out - i recognize that the war in iraq, the war on terror, guantanamo bay, vietnam, and iran are different topics, they all still fall under "american foreign policy is a mess".

i count 14 of those so far this year, which is two per month on average, and theyre rarely very interesting and never even-handed. i mean, i fully agree with your point of view on iraq and the bush administration, but frankly as soon as i see the "y2karl blockquote" my eyes just glaze over and i skip past it without reading at this point. sorry, but these posts kind of suck.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 12:54 AM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


y2karl, those numbers are very skewed because of the tagging of old posts.
posted by peacay at 12:58 AM on July 23, 2007


If the current American government actually were conservative in any real sense, you wouldn't be ass deep in unwinnable foreign wars.

There are many policies from this government that are certainly conservative, which people can find legitimate fault with: using the government to foment the public's hatred of anyone who isn't straight; dismantling unions, public education and social insurance programs; creating a legally favorable climate for industries to pollute profitably, poisoning our food, air and water; illegally funding religious activities with tax dollars; increasing corporate consolidation in violation of the spirit of antitrust principles; cutting capital gains taxes to line the pockets of the wealthy at the expense of the country, etc. etc. etc.

Coulteresque rhetorical tricks have poisoned words, rendering language impotent in that you can't accurately criticize conservatives and their activities, without being labeled with some pejorative of one left-wing flavor or another, or being accused of various seditious tendencies.

Facts don't matter any more. As the Lancet and Johns Hopkins studies show, for example, it's about how emotional you are in denying reality that counts.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:59 AM on July 23, 2007


There be evidence in favour of previewing after reading through the thread.
posted by peacay at 1:00 AM on July 23, 2007


Oh come on, that's nonsense

I beg to differ; I think SCDB's idea has validity. Just looking at the most recent thread, all the standard shibboleths are there -- Bush, Blackwater, Rumsfeld, Rove, and characterizations from the Brits in the audience that the idiot Americans are too stupid to even read the reports from the obviously biased corporate media. It's all just very ... predictable ... now.

I wonder if this is how it felt to be an engineering major at Berkeley in 1972. Everything's going to hell in a handbasket around you, the summer of love is long over, and the yawning reality of Vietnam is still there. Every damn night in the dorm room common area, it's this "fuck Nixon" shit. There's no "Best of the Web," because the Web hasn't been invented yet. There's no World of Warcraft, obviously -- Dungeons and Dragons won't be invented for another two years. All that's left is roller disco, racquetball and reefer.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:05 AM on July 23, 2007


honestly steven:
I've been advocating war, but I doubt that this web site had any significant influence on decision making in the Whitehouse. While I do know that some government workers read it, I seriously doubt anyone in a position of authority even knows I exist. Nonetheless, I do feel a degree of responsibility; since we're going to embark on a war I've been advocating, I can't disclaim any negative results from the war once it starts.
as the guy who wrote that, you can take your warm and fuzzy and shove it up your ass. you might find your "degree of responsibility" up there.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 1:14 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


The comment immediately preceding mine is a fantastic example of why Iraq war threads are worthless.

It's completely irrational. SCDB's feeling about the war at its outset have absolutely nothing to do with the merit of Iraq war threads posted by someone else today! It's vulgar, too, to boot.

Basically, it's an obnoxious piece of complete nonsense that serves no purpose whatsoever, and it's absolutely representative of the war-related dialog on the site.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 1:29 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


There are many policies from this government that are certainly conservative, which people can find legitimate fault with: using the government to foment the public's hatred of anyone who isn't straight; dismantling unions, public education and social insurance programs; creating a legally favorable climate for industries to pollute profitably, poisoning our food, air and water; illegally funding religious activities with tax dollars; increasing corporate consolidation in violation of the spirit of antitrust principles; cutting capital gains taxes to line the pockets of the wealthy at the expense of the country, etc. etc. etc.

I thank you for making my point. None of these things are conservative in any way that makes sense in terms of what the word has actually meant if we reach back further than a few decades; since then the words liberal and conservative have been hijacked by people (it would seem, people like you) to use as a too-easy blanket term for all the things you don't like, politically, and more particularly and unhappily, as I suggested above, to demonize those with whom they disagree.

Don't mistake me. The greasy weasel fuck swine who are running the American government have done all of these things you list (and have for decades, just a little less nakedly than now, perhaps), and I'd be just as happy as the next rabid lefty speed-typing Valuable Internet Opinion spouting dipshit to see them strung up by their own guts. More so, perhaps.

What I object to (quixotically, of course) is sloppy use of language that obfuscates and distracts and creates animus between people who should be searching for common ground, precisely because they order their beliefs about things that transcend politics in different ways.

Coulteresque rhetorical tricks have poisoned words, rendering language impotent in that you can't accurately criticize conservatives and their activities, without being labeled with some pejorative of one left-wing flavor or another, or being accused of various seditious tendencies.

Yes, those in power and those who mouth their turds with opportunistic abandon are very good at hijacking language, and getting better. But it's naively tribal to insist that they're the only ones who are doing it.

There's something to be said for giving back as good as you get, I suppose. One just wishes that people would be a little smarter, and a little less frightened.

I beg to differ; I think SCDB's idea has validity.

And I in turn beg to differ: characterizing what he had to say as an 'idea' (as opposed rote repetition of comforting mantras) is over-kind. 'Valid' is not the same as 'true'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:31 AM on July 23, 2007


Basically, it's an obnoxious piece of complete nonsense that serves no purpose whatsoever, and it's absolutely representative of the war-related dialog on the site.

Jeez, you really don't like Metafilter very much, do you, Mr President? So it has seemed recently, anyway.

Someone with such an amusing username really shouldn't be so grinchy.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:32 AM on July 23, 2007


I like Metafilter just fine. Not a big fan of politics and war threads, though.

And I do like bitching.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 1:37 AM on July 23, 2007


Don't we all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:40 AM on July 23, 2007


Man, stavros is on a roll tonight.



A KAISER ROLL
posted by ludwig_van at 1:42 AM on July 23, 2007


A KAISER ROLL

*cries*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:44 AM on July 23, 2007


alright, alright, i'll tone down the fucking vulgarity. jesus in a wheelchair.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 1:48 AM on July 23, 2007


546 Days.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:49 AM on July 23, 2007


I thank you for making my point.

To be fair, I did not make your point. These are the same activities that have defined conservatives for years. Perhaps liberal meant something different back in the days of Adam Smith, but those days are long past and it is reasonable to use descriptive terms for modern discourse.

Indeed, you had made my point by reinventing, or redefining the terms "conservative" and "liberal" to be equal:

They are both sensible and perfectly valid ways of ordering one's beliefs

This ironic, if false equivalence makes any criticism of conservatives impossible, despite clear distinctions on the non-Iraq points I listed.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:50 AM on July 23, 2007


Iraq Is Awful. Is there some wide swath of neocons who derive a lot of enjoyment or benefit out of wars like this, which seem to surface whenever some tiny group of nutjobs commits terroist attacks the US? Here's the pattern: some extremist flies a plane into a building; America breaks international laws and invades a country with no evidence or plan whatsoever; hundreds of thousands of mostly Arab people die for no reason; and said invaded country becomes so unstable that it falls into civil war. Am I the only one who thinks that is criminally insane behaviour?
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:54 AM on July 23, 2007


These are the same activities that have defined conservatives for years.

Yes, well, that's why I suggested looking back more than three decades or so might be useful.

Whatever. There are times where one gets an inkling that it's just not possible for you and another person to understand one another, no matter how hard you try, sad times when language just doesn't seem to be working the way you want it to, perhaps because you're just not using it well enough.

This is one of those times.

You insist on using words, especially those two that are so charged and so increasingly (even by your own admission) meaningless, in a different way than I do, and in a way that I think is counterproductive and contributory to the political-culture deadlock that grips American and other western societies.

But I'm not going to browbeat you -- if what I said already doesn't make sense to you, nothing I can add will make much of a difference, I suppose.

That's OK. I don't mind if you disagree -- my point was and is that it's more productive to at least make the attempt to find common ground than it is to fall into Attack Mode, which is, despite what we're told and shown every day, a lack of bravery, not evidence of it.

Failure to find common ground is always an option. It's the attempt that matters.

The depressing but hilarious irony of course is that we actually agree politically on most things, I suspect.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:02 AM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


Am I the only one who thinks that is criminally insane behaviour?

It's not a crime to be insane around these parts.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 2:03 AM on July 23, 2007


But it helps!

*badump-tish*

Thank you folks -- I'll be here 'til Thursday! Don't forget to tip your waitstaff!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:04 AM on July 23, 2007


in a way that I think is counterproductive and contributory to the political-culture deadlock that grips American and other western societies.

Those aren't criteria one should use to determine what a word means.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 2:09 AM on July 23, 2007


Keep fighting the good fight, stavros.
posted by ludwig_van at 2:13 AM on July 23, 2007


Wha? I didn't in any way imply that they were. You're reading me precisely backwards, there, for some reason.

A word means what people agree its meaning to be, either explicitly or implicity. Descriptivism, hoopla woo.

I think that a lot of aggressively political people use certain words in certain ways in bad faith (in my opinion), to convenient demonize those with whom they disagree, that they would rather fling epithets than have an actual discussion, because it's easier and more fun.

That they use the words (that is, conservative and liberal) in ways that are limited and politicized, and that do no justice and much harm to the actual history of thought and belief the words have always represented, well, that's a bummer.

But my argument is not with the meanings that the words have come to have, even if I think it's corrupted -- it's a fool's game to argue that people are using words wrong in some way ("...but 'gay' means 'happy' damn it!"), when most people use them the same way.

My argument (or part of it) is the way in which the words are used, and that they are not a cause but a symptom of...

Ah the hell with it. It's dinner time.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:27 AM on July 23, 2007


It also reassures the participants, making them feel warm and fuzzy by being part of the group, as they all tell one another, "See! We were right after all!"

They were right all along. Really, it's like claiming that people who assert that the Earth orbits the Sun are partaking of some "secular religious ceremony" when they do so.

By any measure, Iraq is a goddamned train wreck. Stating a baldly self-evident fact is not at all akin to worshipping Invisible Sky Buddies in the absence of any supporting evidence.
posted by trondant at 2:33 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I feel as though there are fifth columnists on MetaFilter, whose sole mission is to disrupt intelligent discussion and obscure truth. I'll bet that as a part of considered and deliberate Republican strategy, there is an action plan to join and troll websites and newsgroups that have an anti-administration slant.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:53 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Huh? Y2k's posts usually include specific details and developments. It's not his fault if it degenerates into the usual wailing and gnashing in a more general way. Sure, you could call that "updatefilter", Jess, but I think most of us would agree that the "people are tired of Iraq -- let's give them something fresh!" approach to media that pretty much all of the traditional outlets bow to is nothing short of despicable, despite saying a good deal about its audience.

As for:

The same with taking up the first four inside comments with more blockquotes and links. It's just not the way MeFi is supposed to work.

Are they wikipedia links and quotes? No. They're meat. Not the way MeFi is supposed to work -- well sure, when people can't be bothered to read a single page article before weighing in with the comments (and I've been as guilty of this at times as anyone), expecting people to digest even more material in one sitting seems a stretch. But it's not a single 2-hour video clip as some have posted, where you either watch it entirely, or remain blind to the whole of the fpp's subject. This is additional material; read it if you want. Some do; and they do. Other's don't, and they don't. Who whinges about the inside material? I haven't heard anyone. Maybe because they'd be embarassed to say "I don't want to work that hard. Sorry. This subject is not worth my time."

And they should be embarassed.

Wait, my mistake:

frankly as soon as i see the "y2karl blockquote" my eyes just glaze over and i skip past it without reading at this point. sorry, but these posts kind of suck.

You remind me of the guy I know who wouldn't go see Bowling for Columbine... because of the name. I mean, "Bowling for Columbine?" His eyes would just glaze over. BOR-ING.
posted by dreamsign at 3:19 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


It was a decent post. It didn't bother anyone but you.
posted by bardic at 3:20 AM on July 23, 2007


Meatbomb, I don't think that's the case. It's more that a lot of people feel so helpless and scared about the war that they don't want to read about it anymore.

"If I ignore this tumour, it'll just go away!"
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:20 AM on July 23, 2007


Whatever. There are times where one gets an inkling that it's just not possible for you and another person to understand one another, no matter how hard you try, sad times when language just doesn't seem to be working the way you want it to, perhaps because you're just not using it well enough.

Despite your dismissal, conservatism has a clear descriptive meaning and you are redefining it in your comments to something which is not a common or useful definition.

Conservatives do very specific things to the country through their policies, which are not performed by liberals — to return to one of the examples provided: with few exceptions, conservatives voted along party lines for 2003 capital gains tax cuts, while liberals voted against those cuts.

You and I may share similar ideological views, but you should understand that it really hurts discourse to muddy the waters in the manner you have done, through feel-good false equivalence of conservatism with liberalism.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:23 AM on July 23, 2007


By any measure, Iraq is a goddamned train wreck. Stating a baldly self-evident fact is not at all akin to worshipping Invisible Sky Buddies in the absence of any supporting evidence.

This needs to be said often.

Folks, the reason why we can't have a reasoned, dispassionate discourse about Iraq on MeFi is because there is no reasoned discourse to be had. It's a clusterfuck. It's a disaster, a fiasco.

None of the war supporters here can rationally argue otherwise, so they hide behind this game of "Oh, it's so tedious, can't we talk about something else?" and, "Oh, the weight of your community opinion is suffocating me! Help! Police!", or, my personal favorite, "I refuse to debate this topic because you've all been hoodwinked by your orthodoxy! You wouldn't be capable of seeing the light even if you wanted to!"

There is a good argument to be made that MetaFilter shouldn't become IraqFilter 24/7. As pointed out above, though, y2karl doesn't make much more (on average) than one Iraq post a month. We can tolerate that.

What we shouldn't tolerate is this bullshit messiah-complex victimization game where grown men are apparently rendered intellectually helpless by the cruel glare of anti-war mefites.

Oh, the humanity! Can't we find a nice, comfortable place to warmonger in peace?!?
posted by Avenger at 3:50 AM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


Am I the only one who thinks that is tedious?

Stop bitching and start posting.
posted by caddis at 4:03 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


Despite your dismissal

Ass. I was dismissing noone but myself -- I was trying to have the grace to suggest that the failure to communicate lay with me, not you. Clearly that was a mistake. I'm out of patience.

You and I may share similar ideological views, but you should understand that it really hurts discourse to muddy the waters in the manner you have done, through feel-good false equivalence of conservatism with liberalism.

Oh fuck off. I should have known better than to try to engage you in good faith in the first place. I really should have. If I'm muddying waters for you, it's because you're either not clever enough or not openminded enough to make an attempt to hear what I'm saying. The waters, son, are crystal clear.

As near as I can tell, when you say conservative, you do not mean 'one favouring traditional views and values', you mean 'my political enemy'. When you say liberal, you do not mean 'one not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas' you mean 'my political tribe'.

I don't know about you, nor, from what I've heard, do I much care to at this point, but for my part there are things about which I favour traditional views and values, and there are other things where I prefer to push back against orthodoxy. These are the meanings of liberal and conservative that I thought were clear enough that I didn't need to do more than gesture at upthread. Perhaps you are less a complicated human being that a political cartoon. I don't know.

I leave the irony of your dogmatic insistence on labels while self-selecting as 'liberal' for the reader parse out to their satisfaction. (And aren't you the reincarno-puppet of the guy who flamed out over the use of the phrase 'drama queen', anyway? If I'm right about that (I may be wrong), the irony of you tossing around politically-charged epithets is even richer and more delightfully sad.)

You should know that your kind of dogged insistance on labelling those with whom you disagree represents everything that is worst about the political cadre to which to claim allegiance, and is exactly the reason that people like me will take great pains, whenever possible, to dissociate themselves from the doctrinaire blinkered rhetoric of the ostensible Left, even if we share surface similarities in political agenda, to an only slightly lesser degree than we are appalled by the equally banal mirror-nonsense coming from your opponents over on the Right.

Your country is doomed, thanks as much to you as to Ann Coulter or any of the rest. You think there's a battle to be won when the war was decisively lost the minute you adopted the intolerant language and attitudes of your hated enemies.

You know the hoary cliché of the bearded revolutionary who, once in power, becomes precisely the sort of hateful despot he once despised?

Go look in a mirror.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:14 AM on July 23, 2007 [11 favorites]


Despite your dismissal, conservatism has a clear descriptive meaning and you are redefining it in your comments to something which is not a common or useful definition.

The word conservative has many definitions, and the political one meaning "right wing/neocon/moralizing/whatever" isn't at the top of the list in any dictionary. Non-politicized people (that is, most normal people) would describe MetaFilter as an extremely conservative website.

On preview: yeah, that too!
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 4:26 AM on July 23, 2007


Dinner was pretty tasty, by the way.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:35 AM on July 23, 2007


A KAISER ROLL

*cries*


Mr. Sub! God, are they still around? They did hot subs way better than anyone else (though their cold subs kinda sucked compared to Subway; and I hate Quiznos).

Er. And now back to the bloodletting.
posted by dreamsign at 4:49 AM on July 23, 2007


It's all fun and games until someone turns me into a sandwich.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:55 AM on July 23, 2007


Thanks, Twiggy. I get it now. You should write a FAQ.
posted by Slap Factory at 4:58 AM on July 23, 2007


IraqFilter is a "group hate" for lefties. It's a way of bonding socially by reaffirming membership in the group and reaffirming ideological integrity. It also reassures the participants, making them feel warm and fuzzy by being part of the group, as they all tell one another, "See! We were right after all!"

-Steven, MetaFilter, today

Right now the Democrats are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, in thrall to their extreme wing, and trying to peddle a message full of recriminations. But they'll soon realize that their message of hatred, panic and shame isn't selling to the majority of voters here, and they'll either fade into political insignificance for the next 20 years, or (far more likely) the idiots will get marginalized and more-practical voices will emerge. Within a year, the argument will no longer be about whether we should have gone in. It will be about what we should do next.

-Steven, OpinionJournal, July 24, 2003 (That was, by the way, simply the first search result for your name and "Iraq.")

So, yeah, Stevie. I can definitely imagine how the "group" you spent a few, you know, years berating for not sharing your idealistic vision about Iraq having been completely fucking right all along might be, shall we say, annoying to you. If by "warm and fuzzy" you mean I don't find myself as implicit in the death of over 3,500 Americans as I do you because my voice happened to be just a bit more practical, then yeah, snuggles all around.

Ass.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:59 AM on July 23, 2007 [11 favorites]


-Are they wikipedia links and quotes? No. They're meat.-

dreamsign, perhaps part of what jessamyn is hinting at (and sorry j if I'm misinterpreting you) here is that this meat that you speak of is not so much additive as it is repetitive - it is merely a quote from the page which is linked. This site is about the links remember. Why not just post the link +/- a quick line of introductory text and let us get on with it? It's a lecture -vs- invitation thing.

There have been well-thrashed arguments that suggest that by adopting this form of presentation consistently that y2karl is somewhat contemptuous of 'his' audience either because he doubts they will click through, he thinks they are incapable of distilling out the salient points themselves or because of some righteous belief that by pummelling people with a barrage of words, at least some of the important points will get through the thick skulls of the readership. Alternatively he is providing a service for the drive-through set who wish to simply glean a quick overview and keep moving on their merry way.

I confess to wavering on the presentation issue. But my own view matters little. All the arguments have been expressed here to the nth degree and to y2karl's credit, he has opted not to blockquote with small text any more, so that's something. Do I find his general presentation disrupting to my normal reading style of the site? Yes, to a degree...sometimes. But ultimately I always find myself aligning with those that advocate for diversity so this is something that I would never call out myself. It is bloody annoying when you enter a thread and you want to see what people are saying and are faced by screen after screen of quoted text. That side of the presentation does bug me. But it's a few spacebars downs and not that hard a task to skip it I suppose, so again, my dislike never gets up to any great level of annoyance. {And although it says more about my tolerance perhaps, when I'm faced by such a barrage, I'm actually less likely to go and read the article or even the copied quote -- so it can easily be viewed as a selfdefeating style choice.}

y2karl is high profile and that always impacts on how the subject matter will be accepted. I don't think he posts too much on the war but because of his profile he is probably better off being a bit more careful about spacing them out, particularly because much of what he presents are long-view pieces. These can, depending on your viewpoint, just be seen as update filter, skirting close to the line of being pulled because they're not within the ambit of 'new, not seen by many' criteria.
posted by peacay at 5:04 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


I like y2karl's posts.

And, if the resultant "hee-hee, we were right!" that follows his posts seems a little self-congratulatory, it's well-deserved. Roll back four years and change - it was not an easy thing to be anti-war (or at least this war) in America when there were a lot of folks screaming for Ay-rab blood. It took a little courage to say in front of anyone, "Well, to be fair, if we're going to go after someone, there's this dude in North Korea who really gives me the willies ..."

Just go back and look at the approval ratings for both the President and the war. Huge numbers. When all of the "we will be greeted as liberators" and "it'll only cost fifty billion" rhetoric was going on, you had to be careful about airing your doubts.

Part of being smart is recognizing when you've backed the right horse and rewarding yourself for it.
posted by adipocere at 5:31 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Too much focus on Y2K here. The OP's point was that the large total numer of Iraq posts has rendered them all tedious.
posted by LarryC at 5:51 AM on July 23, 2007


this meat that you speak of is not so much additive as it is repetitive - it is merely a quote from the page which is linked

I get the lecturing aspect, though I think it is just enthusiasm for the subject. But in the last Y2k fpp, for example, I count one "block quote" and one quote leading to a whole other article. More of the latter and less of the former would, admittedly, be better.
posted by dreamsign at 5:53 AM on July 23, 2007


I, ahem, am by no means at the top of that list.

y2karl, not only am I part of the backtagging project, there was also a time when you didn't want to add the iraq tag to any of your posts about iraq and I did it instead. Ahem.

in the last Y2k fpp, for example, I count one "block quote" and one quote leading to a whole other article.

Counting the more inside links there are five blockquotes for a total of almost a thousand words. If someone said to me "I'd like to make a thousand word MetaFilter post, what do you say?" I'd say "No, never, that is never okay. That is outside the range of what MeFi is for, please find another way to make your post."

At this point we're in the awkward situation of ignoring flags on y2karl's Iraq posts [this last one got a lot after this thread went up, but it was still topping the list even before] because, as I said, they don't technically break a guideline, some people just don't like them. So, every time they make it to the top of the flag pile and every time (I think) we ignore them. That feels bad, to me. It's a departure from how we do things usually.

If it was a one-time thing I'd feel fine about it, but this comes up every few months. People flagging them must be frustrated. On the other hand, it's clear that deleting these posts -- or god forbid editing down those huge front page blockquotes -- is going to start a MeTa thread that is exactly the opposite of this one.

If they weren't good links we wouldn't be having this discussion we'd just delete them. However if they didn't have big jarring blockquotes and seven hundred words of more inside we wouldn't be having this discussion either because they'd be easier to skip, wouldn't mess up the look of the front page (I know it's petty, but it's many people's complaint) and wouldn't seem like such hobby horse posts from someone who, in my opinion, is using the MeFi audience as his own soapbox. y2karl could easily change that and he doesn't.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:24 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


None of these things are conservative in any way that makes sense in terms of what the word has actually meant if we reach back further than a few decades

Reaching back to Adam Smith and Edmund Burke for definitions of liberal and conservative is silly. And in any case, many of the listed things are inherently conservative, even in a Burke sense.

"using the government to foment the public's hatred of anyone who isn't straight" is merely a pejorative, but basically accurate, way of describing the inevitable consequence of strongly favoring traditional mores against a changing tide. Last I checked, favoring the preservation of traditional mores is an inherent part of what conservatives are.

"dismantling unions, public education and social insurance programs" is just a pejorative, but accurate, way of describing the general favoring of owners over workers, something that's been a part of conservatism for a long, long time, and the general small-government perspective of conservatives that's strongly related to the previous lack of government involvement in them.

"creating a legally favorable climate for industries to pollute profitably, poisoning our food, air and water" arguably expresses the conservative urge against regulation in general, though some conservatives have always been conservationists and antiindustrial.

"illegally funding religious activities with tax dollars" again merely reflects a negative view of the same inherently conservative urge to maintain traditional norms.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:33 AM on July 23, 2007


"Hey! Look out for that bus! Bus! Guys, another bus! Check out this bus! Bus update: buses still running, getting hit a possibility. Did you see that bus? Latest on buses! That bus really almost hit you, you should be more careful, you know? Here's a pamphlet on bus safety. Bus! Bus! Bus! Buses suck, am I right? Blogger decries bus hazard. Great AP newswire - all about buses! Who will stand up against big buses? Incorrect bus schedules posted? Who's responsible? Bus fares: they lied! Bus exit strategies. OMGBUS. The buses haven't even begun to run yet. Exhaust fumes may have harmed pedestrians, experts say. Stepped up bus preparations. Mass transportation: the logic of buses. How the press can prevent bus incidents. What to ask before your next bus ride. From the people who brought you buses. Transportation secretary estimates 30,000 buses run each week. Debating the bus body count. Transportation... or terror? BUSES ARE IMPORTANT! Why was my bus post deleted? It was a totally new up to the minute perspective on buses!"
posted by Wolfdog at 6:36 AM on July 23, 2007 [6 favorites]


Bold prediction: As the '08 election approaches, the difficultly inherent to modifying the guidelines and explicitly stating (at a minimum) what topics will be subject to greater scrutiny by the admins (and the resulting MeTa threads) will appear trivial compared to moderating the daily deletion complaint/encouragement.

PS: I think this post stay in the absence of any reason why y2karl would have believed it would have been deleted.
posted by loquax at 7:04 AM on July 23, 2007


Counting the more inside links there are five blockquotes for a total of almost a thousand words.

Whoah, don't know how I missed those. Though again, all but one from different articles (however, mostly supporting the thesis, rather than adding something new in their own right).

At this point we're in the awkward situation of ignoring flags on y2karl's Iraq posts

That sucks. I'm not being facetious. That does suck. I would suggest taking some solace though by mentally subtracting the number of favorites to the thread (in this case, at present, 14) from the number of flags, but then it starts to look like a whole digg-up digg-down machine.

wouldn't mess up the look of the front page (I know it's petty, but it's many people's complaint)

They... ? I'm speechless.
posted by dreamsign at 7:10 AM on July 23, 2007


I have a hard time understanding where the ambiguity lays. A ~1000 word front page post is damn near the definition of GYOB material, even if readers here find the information interesting. This isn't even close to being on the borderline; this is pretty much well beyond the bounds of what MeFi typically allows (and wants).

If the information in y2karl's posts is so valuable and there isn't anywhere else on the internet to find it, he should start his own blog and hope that he gets a MeFi link once in a while when he posts something new or interesting. Sadly, though, I think this is unlikely, precisely because the information is not unique or hard to find. It's just a big ol' rollup of stories you could find elsewhere with little effort.

MeFi really doesn't need a bi-weekly rollup thread for any topic -- least of all one for which it is nigh impossible for the resulting thread to turn into anything other than a circlejerk.
posted by tocts at 7:20 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


However if they didn't have big jarring blockquotes and seven hundred words of more inside we wouldn't be having this discussion either because they'd be easier to skip, wouldn't mess up the look of the front page (I know it's petty, but it's many people's complaint)...

That's hilarious, because the last time I checked we don't have to thumb across a two page advertisement in the NYT like y2karl is fucking Soros pissing in your breakfast bowl of ignorant slapdash. All that's required to "skip" these posts is a modicum of intellectual discipline and a brief spasm of reflection - I'd consider that a more accurate assessment due to the fact that interior motivations of those who would wish to burn karl at the stake are never examined in full.

One mental process, one extra roll of the scrollwheel. How dare he foist such a goddamn crucible of indecision upon every member of this community with his self righteous quotations! The bastard!

Are you honestly trying to propose that in the medium we are currently debating there is not enough "room" for an adequate amount of YouTube/FarkLite/Horseshit coverage due to the inherent nature and formatting of y2karls posts? I'd respectfully laugh in your face if that is truly the administrative perspective.

...wouldn't seem like such hobby horse posts from someone who, in my opinion, is using the MeFi audience as his own soapbox. y2karl could easily change that and he doesn't.

The most ignorant, expensive, illegal, immoral occupation since Vietnam is a hobby horse?

Maybe y2karl should take a cue from his other muse, the southern music scene of old; "throw on some blackface and dance like a jiggaboo karl, we want another drink and we don't want no' mo' o' yo' serious nonsense 'round these parts! Ya'hear! Play that fucking music and shut your mouth!"

Are there really not enough dumbass distractions in the world for you people? Must asinine cubicle pop culture shitfuckery bloat every cavity of this website like the rotten fucking corpse it is slowly beginning to resemble? When will we be collectively decayed enough to the point where there is no longer cognitive dissonance between what someone may view on the front page and the putrid tar that pumps through their whithered heart? Who fucking cares, because at that point we won't have a collective pulse between the lot of us.
posted by prostyle at 7:22 AM on July 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


...Ahem.

I figured it was an artifact of something to do with tagging but staring me in the face there the irony was. Even so, excluding the top two, my name is not even fifth on that list.

"Hey! Look out for that bus100, 000 dead! Bus 600,000 dead! Guys, another bus 975,610 dead!

Somehow, put that way, it's just not as funny.

A million dead ? Not noteworthy, nothing to see here, move along.
posted by y2karl at 7:35 AM on July 23, 2007


I can't decide if 975,610 fails at being fpp-worthy because it's an update or because it wasn't formatted prettily.

But see that million is just pure hyperbole.

Oh hold on... ok, now it isn't.
posted by dreamsign at 7:45 AM on July 23, 2007


At this point we're in the awkward situation of ignoring flags on y2karl's Iraq posts

I'm a huge, huge anti-war person, and I enjoy y2karl's posts, but if his posts are consistently topping the flagged list, then it may be time to start pruning them.
posted by empath at 7:47 AM on July 23, 2007


And to be honest, there are THOUSANDS of eloquent attacks on the morality, tactics and strategy of the War On Teror, written by people left, right and center and a new one at this point isn't particularly noteworthy or 'best of the web'.

I don't think anyone needs convincing at this point. Metafilter is overwhelmingly left-liberal and anti-war.

I'm not sure what piling on at this point really accomplishes. We're well past the point where the general public needs to be convinced that the whole thing was rotten business.
posted by empath at 7:52 AM on July 23, 2007


I'm kind of glad I missed this clusterfuck since I was anxiety-ridden and drunk last night and I robably would've lipped off in a way that wouldn't have helped anything.

Now, with nothing in my system except coffee and cigarrettes, I can say that I'm of two minds here. I've known karl (in the cybersense) for a long time, and I like and respect him and in a general way agree with him. And like most people here, I'm angry about the war and concerned about where it's all heading. And I believe that generally he's just voicing something similar with no ill intent.

What I can do without is what happens after the threads, the usual mudslinging and speechifying by the usual suspects that accomplishes nothing except building up grudges. But that's not karl's fault.
posted by jonmc at 7:53 AM on July 23, 2007


One of the arguments often aimed at against war posts is that "there are lots of places on the web you can read about the war." The argument is specious. I can read about the war a lot of places, and I do, but in all the years of his posting, I have only seen one of Y2Karl's links somewhere else before he posted it to MetaFilter. Being able to read about the war is not the same as being able to read quality, informative, in-depth material about the war. Karl gives us that, and I am grateful for it. Links to articles that are all over the web should get the axe, and they do. The times when I have made a political post, I tried to make sure the subject wasn't on any of the popular sites.

Another argument that always accompanies that one is that "there are lots of places you can discuss politics," and it's specious, too. I have not found any other site that has the same level of discussion as MetaFilter. Other sites either ban political discussions outright, allow mass feces-flinging, or are complete echo-chambers of one stripe or another. I understand that political posts are difficult to moderate, but the moderation is what makes the discussions work. I'm grateful for that, too.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:58 AM on July 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


"See! We were right after all!"

As a cleverer man than I once said:
"Remember that living well is the best revenge. A simple corollary of this is that maintaining an anime blog is the opposite of "living well" and thus the worst revenge, so if you are in a pissing match with someone who does spend all his time protesting to the Internet that he really does shut his eyes when the naked cartoon children are on screen, honestly, then all you really have to do is sit tight and wait for history to rack up enough points on your side."
Dibs on "His Beatitude Moonbaticos Baselios Chief Fluffnstuff I"
posted by octobersurprise at 7:59 AM on July 23, 2007


I'm a huge, huge anti-war person, and I enjoy y2karl's posts, but if his posts are consistently topping the flagged list, then it may be time to start pruning them.

Terrible idea, IMO, dreamsign. y2karl's posts are also favorited quite a bit- political or otherwise. In the world of MeFi, he's a highly polarizing figure, and you can't reward one bleating side without the other. So, what, we delete the posts and then sidebar them?

Metafilter is overwhelmingly left-liberal and anti-war.

empath, I think most of the entire online population is slightly more anti-war than the entire U.S. population, which is pretty solidly anti-war at this point. As Arianna Huffington points out again and again, opposition to the war isn't a left-right issue, it's just common sense.

I do not, however, think MeFi is "overwhelmingly" left-liberal. Speaking as someone who fits that label, I find it annoyingly Libertarian.
posted by mkultra at 8:06 AM on July 23, 2007


In the world of MeFi, he's a highly polarizing figure, and you can't reward one bleating side without the other.

I think that might be overstating it. He's like any other prolific poster. Sometime's he's interesting, sometimes not. YMMV. But he's generally an OK guy with some strong opinions, but that makes him more or less like everybody else here.
posted by jonmc at 8:13 AM on July 23, 2007


See also
What makes a good thread post to MetaFilter?

A good post to MetaFilter is something that meets the following criteria: most people haven't seen it before, there is something interesting about the content on the page, and it might warrant discussion from others.

As a first-time poster or new member of MetaFilter, take a look at the older posts to get a feel for what constitutes a good link. Look at the links that carry 10 or 20 comments to see what everyone is talking about. Is the link you're about to post provocative enough to show to everyone? If so post away.

A good thread values uniqueness over novelty.
See also
What makes a bad post to MetaFilter?

Posting a link to your homepage and asking for feedback is a bad post. Self-promotion isn't what this site is about. Self promotion can be "earned." If you consistently post thought-provoking comments or links on the site, people will click on your name to know you better. On the profile page, you can put your own URL and people can check that out. There are numerous cool pages done by the members of this site, click on a few people to explore.

Self-linking also appropriates the use of MetaFilter as your guestbook. If you just wrote a thought provoking piece and want to get feedback on it, try Blogger or Typepad, which allows you to add comment functionality and community interaction to your own site. Don't link to friends' or family members' sites.

(note: it's ok to link to your own things as comments in threads, if it adds to the discussion and/or saves space because you're written a reply elsewhere)

Make sure you're linking to something on the web. If you're posting a generalized question to the audience, or posting a comment as a main thread, either find an appropriate mailing list, or use MetaTalk.

Posting a press release for your company's latest product launch or website makes for a bad post.

And lastly, don't troll (quick definition: posting purposely inflammatory things for the sole purpose of baiting others to argue the points until blue in the face - basically people do this for kicks, to destroy conversations and communites, for the hell of it).

Follow the golden rule, treat others' opinions with the same respect that would like to be afforded.

See also
Why are some MetaTalk threads closed?
There are a few reasons why MetaTalk threads are closed. The main reason is for threads with very specific requests -- typo fixes, double post deletions -- that don't require additional discussion once the problem is solved. These can often be resolved more simply with an email or IM to an admin. Sometimes a thread duplicates an existing open MetaTalk thread, devolves into noise and/or a trainwreck, or was a joke thread to begin with. Very rarely a MetaTalk thread will be deleted rather than closed.

posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:15 AM on July 23, 2007


I think that might be overstating it. He's like any other prolific poster.

I mean "polarizing" in terms of (favorites + flags) : FPP's. The only other one around here I can see falling in that camp is that guy who used to make all of those obtuse "riddle" posts a couple years back.
posted by mkultra at 8:22 AM on July 23, 2007


I mean "polarizing" in terms of (favorites + flags)

I dunno. If you took a poll about the top 10 most prolific mefi contributors, you'd probably find that each had a small group of people who loved them, a small group who hated them and that the majority of the readership had mixed opinions of them. I figure karl falls under that rubric.
posted by jonmc at 8:25 AM on July 23, 2007


So the Iraq War is now boring old news and not worth discussing here, and besides it clutters up the front page distracting people from the important stuff on the Web: Youtube and The Simpsons. Let's restrict FPPs to one-links showing all the various ways Homer goes "D'oh!"

As for what "overwhelmingly left-liberal and anti-war" Mefites should do, perhaps we should figure out a way to say and do something OFF Metafilter. Besides sending a form letter to a Congresswhore that will just get ignored or showing up to carry signs once in a blue moon. IS there anything we can DO? Who besides NION, A.N.S.W.E.R. and MoveOn, which I got fed up with back in the '80s when they were still Refuse & Resist, the All Peoples Congress and the Democratic Party, is doing anything? (I realize the last question might be rhetorical in "hipper" places than Louisville, KY, but here I am.) Or instead of messing with that Real Life stuff, maybe we could form our very own vanguard party on the Projects page. (Yes, I was just being facetious there.)
posted by davy at 8:26 AM on July 23, 2007


[1] Are you honestly trying to propose that in the medium we are currently debating there is not enough "room" for an adequate amount of YouTube/FarkLite/Horseshit coverage due to the inherent nature and formatting of y2karls posts?

Agreed. I'd gladly see ten LOL[insert youtube video here]!!!!! posts deleted to make room for one y2karl Iraqfilter post.

[2] The criticism that these posts always degenerate into repetitive name-calling is not a criticism of the post, but the community. Iraq is a divisive issue on MeFi and in the world; get used to it, and stop shooting the messenger. LOLWHATEVER posts get lots of favorites and lots of comments because they are thin, entertaining, and insubstantial.

[3] That said, the most recent 1000-word post was a bit overboard. If y2karl can promise to limit the amount of direct quotation, then in return perhaps we can limit our knee-jerk tendency to shoot the messenger that brings us news we'd rather not contemplate.
posted by googly at 8:29 AM on July 23, 2007


"...They don't technically break a guideline..."

Then what y'all need if you want to delete y2karl's posts in good conscience is to make another guideline! "No block quotes or indentations" or something. There must be a nice "left-liberal" way to shut y2karl up. How do libraries discourage very smelly magazine readers?

You could also set an arbitrary thread-length limit, say 50 comments before a thread gets closed; I bet you could it code Mefi so threads are auto-closing.
posted by davy at 8:39 AM on July 23, 2007


IraqFilter Is Awful.

Yes, it is.

Is there some wide swath of MeFi users who derive a lot of enjoyment or benefit out of posts like this [...]?

Yes, there is.

Am I the only one who thinks that is tedious?

No, you aren't.
posted by timeistight at 8:39 AM on July 23, 2007


If you need evidence of MeFi's political leanings, in the presidential poll, mefi voted more Blue than a blog for stopthewar.com and nearly as much as the Florida GLBT Caucus. I think it's fair to say it's overwhelmingly left-liberal (and again, I'm a left liberal anti-war Democract).

At this point, I'd rather read impeachment-filter than Iraq-filter.
posted by empath at 8:41 AM on July 23, 2007


Yeah. I find it tedious. And I care deeply about the Iraq war.
posted by Nelson at 8:41 AM on July 23, 2007


y2karl: "Hey! Look out for that bus100, 000 dead! Bus 600,000 dead! Guys, another bus 975, 610 dead!

Somehow, put that way, it's just not as funny.
A million dead ? Not noteworthy, nothing to see here, move along.


Yawn. The old, 'If you don't like my tiresome repetitive soapbox posts, you obviously don't care about all these people dying,' argument from Metafilter's own Helen Lovejoy.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 8:54 AM on July 23, 2007


You know who else didn't read y2karl's posts and was oblivious to millions of people dying?
posted by found missing at 9:10 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


To be clear, my post was not intended as a shot at y2karl. I don't know who y2karl is. I don't really care either. He is not a "polarizing figure" to me. I'm not part of any Mefi social coterie, so I don't have any of those personal hangups. I am basically a consumer of the site. I visit frequently to read what is posted. Every once in a while I comment. Once in a blue moon, I post something.

I did not advocate the deletion of any posts, and I get that I can just scroll down if I don't feel like reading in detail. But I felt like the IraqFilter sucked bad enough lately that it was worth a discussion, in part to check whether I was the one who is completely out of touch. That's perfectly acceptable fodder for MetaTalk, right?
posted by Slap Factory at 9:11 AM on July 23, 2007


Stepping in late. Oh well:

The problem is not y2karl, but y2karl is a very visible figurehead in political/policy posts and so it gets associated with him. There's a lot of loose mixing of his stuff and political stuff here in general, and it seems worth pointing out that there are distinctions to be made.

What really bugs me on the general issue of politics-on-mefi is the nasty multiplication of two things:

- the commonality of war/bush/policy/news/outrage posts, and
- how fucking badly the threads go, with such consistency.

This sort of thread produces just about the worst stuff that mefites are capable of producing. It's ugly, repetitive rehashes of either unilateral outrage or really undignified infighting and mudslighing, depending on the thread and who feels like showing up that day. It is, insofar as the site is capable of producing such, shit. It's the closest I ever see metafilter get to being just another crap-ass forum on the web. Once in a blue moon we'll see an obit thread for someone so unpopular that people here actually get as nasty as politics thread are on a regular basis.

There are good politically-charged conversations on mefi—sometimes there are even entire threads that are pretty good. The folks that claim that mefi is a good place to find political thought aren't off their rockers, in that regard. But it's islands in a swamp, and it'd damned hard to tell ahead of time where the islands will be.

I can't imagine Matt ever declaring political posts etc to be officially and completely off-limits—neither news posts in general or any other specific topic or genre—but I would like to see this shit cut way, way back. It's not just y2karl, and he goes to good sources with his posts, but I'd love to see him cut way back on it too. The feeling sometimes that people want to make of Mefi a cable news desk rather than a source of wonderful and varied things really bothers me, and every time one of those blockquote posts jumps out of the page (and they do—there is no arguing the unconventional and personalized conspicuousness of the posting style, however well intended) it lends a sense of "...and now here's y2karl with the weather."

It's a lot. It's wearying. It's consistently ugly stuff, and I don't truck much with the argument that because the war and national politics are ugly and important things it is necessary to make the front page of Metafilter and the conversations therein to be ugly. This site was not built to be a fortress for political outrage and spittle-inflected re-ups of anti-Bush or anti-war or anti-whatever invective. Anybody smart enough to discuss politics here is smart enough to figure out that there are better places for it. Demanding that it take place on this site, here or else all is meaningless, feels like some combination of laziness and selfishness and contempt for the idea of metafilter as a place where good things accrue.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:13 AM on July 23, 2007 [6 favorites]


If you think y2karl just posts whatever opinion pieces he finds, you're nuts.

Exactly. y2karl consistently posts thoughtful, meaty pieces that would enhance the understanding of anyone who bothered to read them. But the complainers not only don't want to bother to read them, they don't even want to have to glance at them as they zoom past to the next really excellent post about what Google has been up to lately or an awesome viral video. This post is just an excuse for the y2karl-haters to trot out their usual lies and vitriol.

I must confess I don't understand jessamyn's point of view (blockquotes are a problem? really?), but I worship jessamyn and appreciate all the work she does, and she is after all leaving the posts there, so I won't hassle her.
posted by languagehat at 9:13 AM on July 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


I'm a huge, huge anti-war person, and I enjoy y2karl's posts, but if his posts are consistently topping the flagged list, then it may be time to start pruning them.

Terrible idea, IMO, dreamsign. y2karl's posts are also favorited quite a bit- political or otherwise. In the world of MeFi, he's a highly polarizing figure, and you can't reward one bleating side without the other. So, what, we delete the posts and then sidebar them?


Well, that would be empath who made that comment; not me. But then your followup seems to respond to what I did say, re: balancing flags against favorites -- except that that is a perfect example of not "rewarding one side without the other". And I myself nixed that idea as emphasizing personal politics over post quality. So... I'm lost on this one. Sorry.

Are there really not enough dumbass distractions in the world for you people?

Thing is, of course, that if Y2k was posting these on some dirty limericks website, it would clearly be inappropriate, and railing at people there wouldn't serve the cause one bit. Yes, I am saying that MeFi is effectively a site for dirty limericks. Ok, more today than most days. Plus Youtube. But my point stands. I think. What was my point?
posted by dreamsign at 9:17 AM on July 23, 2007


This post is just an excuse for the y2karl-haters to trot out their usual lies and vitriol.

What do you mean by this? Examples?

As an aside, how do I keep my lies in a trot? They often start to canter, and before I realize it, they are galloping away.
posted by found missing at 9:25 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


This sort of thread produces just about the worst stuff that mefites are capable of producing. It's ugly, repetitive rehashes of either unilateral outrage or really undignified infighting and mudslighing, depending on the thread and who feels like showing up that day. It is, insofar as the site is capable of producing such, shit. It's the closest I ever see metafilter get to being just another crap-ass forum on the web.

You couldn't be more dead on (and the point has nothing to do with 'lies and vitriol', as do very few of them).

I'd rather see them than a zillion one-link Youtube thingies, or any more posts about doggie dildos and/or men who love RealDolls.

I love that this argument has been made several times about a site that began with a post about cats being wedged into scanners.
posted by justgary at 9:26 AM on July 23, 2007


I really do not think there are many, if any, Y2Karl "haters." Y2K balances his agenda-driven stuff with some absolutely spectacular posts on other topics and he offers some valuable insights and wit in his comments. He's a good guy.

Iraqfilter, however, sucks ass.
posted by LarryC at 9:36 AM on July 23, 2007


I'm sure nobody is still reading the comments down here (hell I didn't read most of the thread) but I thought I'd weigh in on the subject of IraqFilter. People, there is a WAR on. Whilst it would be nice to ignore it and focus on the important things like Beckham, Harry Potter, the Simpsons and the latest viral ad on YouTube, the war in Iraq is the most important thing going on at the moment. The clash between the ideals of American corporate hegemony and Islamic fundamentalism is reshaping the world we all live in. The coverage in the mainstream news media is inadequate. The best thing about the Web (do you see where I'm going with this) is that there are more voices that can be heard. y2karl does a great job of filtering out information that I would not otherwise read, and presenting it here once a month or so. You know, the best of the web, filtered. The blockquote format is mildly annoying, but I'll live with that because I value the content. The discussion threads usually degenerate into idiocy, so I stop reading them when that happens. But y2karl should keep on posting as he does. Thankyou, Karl.
posted by nowonmai at 9:49 AM on July 23, 2007 [7 favorites]


I was dismissing noone but myself -- I was trying to have the grace to suggest that the failure to communicate lay with me, not you.

You did no such thing.

As near as I can tell, when you say conservative, you do not mean 'one favouring traditional views and values', you mean 'my political enemy'. When you say liberal, you do not mean 'one not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas' you mean 'my political tribe'.

You have failed at reading comprehension, as well.

Everything I wrote regarding conservatives applies wrt "favoring traditional views and values". Those descriptions may be written in a pejorative way, but they are factually accurate and reflect how conservatives conduct their economic, political, and moral business here in the United States.

(And aren't you the reincarno-puppet of the guy who flamed out over the use of the phrase 'drama queen', anyway? If I'm right about that (I may be wrong), the irony of you tossing around politically-charged epithets is even richer and more delightfully sad.)

That you have to resort to an unprovoked ad hominem reflects poorly on you, your argument, and the creeps who favorite your comment because of it. What happened nearly two years ago has nothing to do with this issue. I guess there's no irony in y2karl-haters beating that dead horse!

Your country is doomed, thanks as much to you as to Ann Coulter or any of the rest. You think there's a battle to be won when the war was decisively lost the minute you adopted the intolerant language and attitudes of your hated enemies.

Your inability to use terms and concepts correctly is not my fault. Making another false equivalence didn't help your case, either.

Go look in a mirror.

Likewise. Good luck to you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:58 AM on July 23, 2007


Conversations like this one have done a lot to make not want to be politically active. In case anyone cares.
posted by jonmc at 10:04 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Whilst it would be nice to ignore it and focus on the important things like Beckham, Harry Potter, the Simpsons and the latest viral ad on YouTube, the war in Iraq is the most important thing going on at the moment.
posted by nowonmai


-----

What makes a good thread post to MetaFilter?

A good post to MetaFilter is something that meets the following criteria: most people haven't seen it before, there is something interesting about the content on the page, and it might warrant discussion from others.


Strange that "important" doesn't appear in the guidelines (even though you're like the 10th person in this thread to make the exact same point).
posted by justgary at 10:08 AM on July 23, 2007


Does anyone care that I'm apathetic?!!!
posted by found missing at 10:08 AM on July 23, 2007


People, there is a WAR on.
We KNOW. I daresay a great deal of the resentment for these posts stems from the implication that we're too stupid to realize that on our own, or find the relevant stories on the web. Geese start resenting even the best corn mash sometime well shy of their livers actually exploding.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:11 AM on July 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


"Apathy and withdrawal in disgust are not the same." - Richard Linklater
posted by jonmc at 10:11 AM on July 23, 2007


What saddens me is that if MetaFilter had been around during the Vietnam War, there would have been frequent posts about everything related to it, with updates on Senate debates, the latest investigative article in Ramparts, reports on visits to North Vietnam, along with much passionate debate on the virtues and vices of the South Vietnamese government, the merits of various withdrawal plans, and the like—alongside, needless to say, posts about Jim Morrison, the latest gadgets, and new developments in FORTRAN (not to mention MetaTalk posts about meetups at Woodstock and/or the latest demo)—and only a few cranks would have objected; the moderators would have said (gently or otherwise) "Look, we understand you don't want to hear about Vietnam so much, but it's the issue of the day, all of us are dealing with it in one way or another, there's no way we can keep it off the site nor do we want to, just scroll past it if you don't like it." In the world of 2007, it seems all the moderators are impatient with the subject and wish they could keep it off the site. Granted, they're not axing the posts, but the attitude makes me sad.
posted by languagehat at 10:19 AM on July 23, 2007 [8 favorites]


Still waiting to hear more about the lies.
posted by found missing at 10:24 AM on July 23, 2007


Part of the "group hate" bonding exercise is to viciously excoriate anyone who doesn't toe the party line.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:32 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


found missing - I took one of the "lies" to be the notion raised above that y2karl links to axe-grinding opinion pieces. I have no doubt he posts what he does with an agenda if that's how you want to frame it, but those links he has given that I have read have consistently been to deeper analysis or informed voices.
For me, as with most of these things, it's the quality of what gets posted rather than any broad category that material could be fitted into - Youtube, op-ed, IraqFilter, whatever. And y2karl's posts easily pass muster for me.
As to Slap Factory not having a particular beef with y2karl, I am sure that is so; unfortunate then for me that you chose the occasion of one of his posts to raise this issue. It's a legitimate topic for debate. I don't have the problem with it you do, it seems.
posted by Abiezer at 10:40 AM on July 23, 2007


Go languagehat go!
posted by davy at 10:42 AM on July 23, 2007


Again!

(If you keep this up I'll want to propose.)
posted by davy at 10:44 AM on July 23, 2007


"Apathy and withdrawal in disgust are not the same." - Richard Linklater

Tell that to the Iraqis. I'm sure they'll understand.
posted by dreamsign at 10:44 AM on July 23, 2007


Y'know, I tend not to read y2karl posts. Not because I've necessarily seen the same article that he's linked to, but because I've heard the same arguments. Iraq War just beginning? Likely to last for years? No shit. And by posting the giant graph up top, he makes me less likely to read them— I skim it, then skip it. It's another goddamned bran muffin post that will make me outraged and then despairingly impotent. Fuck, I can't even bear to make it through about 30% of the real news— every time I see the Bush administration up to something, I write away to my representatives and donate money or whatever, but I've also got my life to live and I don't feel like nattering on a website does a lot.
Very rarely are y2karl Iraq links the types of links that I ENJOY reading. They're instead medicinal, written in earth tones and dressed in blazers with leather elbow patches. And even rarer do I find a legitimate discussion happening in them. I realize that part of this is simply y2karl's name, which encourages a reactionary antipathy from both people who agree with him but are shell-shocked and petulant, and by the folks who don't and use him as a handy effigy. It's not karl's fault, really, and I'm not sure what I'd have him do.

Maybe I'm a stupid hippy, but as this new Vietnam drags on, more and more the only exit I see out of it is not by politics and policy, but by art and music and film and metaphor and poetry. Not through didacticism, but through transcendence.

God, I want hope again. And I can't find it through y2karl's posts on Iraq. Escapist cop-out? Maybe, but fuck you— I'm tired and heartsick and sick of only knowing the cruel absurdity of American war and Republican administration.
posted by klangklangston at 10:45 AM on July 23, 2007


the war in Iraq is the most important thing going on at the moment.

Perhaps this is true in your country, but it isn't the most important thing going on in the world by a long shot.
posted by timeistight at 10:46 AM on July 23, 2007


That sounds more like an opinion, or even a misguided observation, than a lie.
posted by found missing at 10:46 AM on July 23, 2007


there would have been .. much passionate debate on the virtues and vices of the South Vietnamese government, the merits of various withdrawal plans, and the like

What, apart from good old-fashioned get-off-my-lawn syndrome, makes you think this? Comments in posts about Iraq are so rarely anything more than barely-coherent outrage-laden single sentences; why would Mefites thirty years ago be any better at talking about this? Methinks the rose-tinted glasses (ah, '68!) are obscuring your vision here.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 10:47 AM on July 23, 2007


God, I want hope again.

What you mean 'again,' kemosabe? When exactly was there 'hope?' 'Twas ever thus.
posted by jonmc at 10:49 AM on July 23, 2007


Maybe we Mefites should form a vanguard faction to pose as extreme right-wingers, infiltrate the major parties, and gently subvert the government into doing things like, oh, invade Darfur to get rid of the janjaweed, divert some flow from a Nile or two to run west through the Sahel, or force Israel/Palestine to have a secular democratic multi-ethnic system within the 1972 borders*. If the U.S. must be an Empire it needn't be unmitigatedly Evil.

(*To avoid problems of nomenclature we could call the new country Fred.)
posted by davy at 10:56 AM on July 23, 2007


Anybody smart enough to discuss politics here is smart enough to figure out that there are better places for it.

I guess I'm not that smart. Please tell me where some of those better places are. Before you do, hear that by 'better' I mean "having as divers a range of experience and opinion' and 'not tolerating the usual sewage-mouthed partisans'.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:58 AM on July 23, 2007


I daresay a great deal of the resentment for these posts stems from the implication that we're too stupid to realize that on our own

That nails it to a T.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:59 AM on July 23, 2007


y2karl's Iraq links are the cream of the crop of political posts here (sorta faint praise, I know), as well as some of the most thoughtful stuff on the subject I see anywhere - and that includes places like Cursor and The Agonist. Editing the block quotes down a bit would be nice, but block quotes inside seems perfectly fine to me. Particularly given some folks

That said, thanks to jessamyn for quickly giving rockhopper a timeout. It's a real shame that a couple of assholes who consistently shit in political threads are coming close to ruining all political posts here. Mods, please continue quickly giving timeouts to the *real* problem: jerks who use political threads as their personal insult playground.
posted by mediareport at 11:01 AM on July 23, 2007


It's not just y2karl, and he goes to good sources with his posts, but I'd love to see him cut way back on it too.

I have cut way back, thank you. By the rules, a person can make a post a day here. Before July 18th, I last specifically posted regarding the war in Iraq on March 7th. Oh, I did post something about Gulf War syndrome on April 18th and made another regarding Guantanamo somewhere in there. But on this war--I've made 3 whole posts in 5 months. 5 whole posts if you want to be expansive. 5 posts in 5 months. That is some soap box, that is some repetition.
posted by y2karl at 11:01 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


(Particularly given some folks' rush to jump in with their biases aflame without reading the articles.)
posted by mediareport at 11:01 AM on July 23, 2007


Perhaps this is true in your country, but it isn't the most important thing going on in the world by a long shot.

I'm pretty sure it's the most important thing going on in Iraq this year. Wait, did I mention Iraq?

There's a basic incompatibility here. Some people are unable to focus on the distractions -- I won't say for right or wrong -- and others resent their attention being taken from them. It's a luxury to be able to ignore this war. Yes, the ugliness of war isn't an excuse for painting every surface with ugliness, but as time goes on, I think we're going to see more and more people who aren't going to blissfully join in for Friday flash and are going to be annoying reminders that there is not only a war on, but your country is making it happen.

Yeah, I wish those reminders lead to more concrete action. Did I say more? Concrete action. But an fpp you can skip over if you can manage the cognitive dissonance to flip a scroll wheel hardly seems worth getting upset over. Or is it the thread about which you are really upset?
posted by dreamsign at 11:03 AM on July 23, 2007


What saddens me is that if MetaFilter had been around during the Vietnam War....

2001-2007 is not 1963-1973. Vietnam was the first major US conflict since the Korean War, it challenged the perception of the US military as invincible, it came when the baby boomers were having their summer of love, post-Kennedy's assassination and in the middle of the the cold war with Soviet ICBMs pointed at the US. 58,000 US soldiers ended up dead in that conflict, which was truly a prolonged war against a well-organized adversary with clear intentions and support from the other global and regional powers. Total combined military dead, more than 1.5mm. Total civilian deaths, between 4 and 6mm. 2.5mm Americans served in Vietnam, with a total of 3.5mm in theatre. There was a draft. A president got impeached during the war. In terms of relevance, geopolitically, culturally, and socially to the US and the world (especially to those in the age group most Metafilterians are in), it dwarfs the current war/skirmish/police action in Iraq.

Of course Iraq (and Afghanistan, and more broadly, the entire sea change in US foreign policy since 2001) is important, of course the actions of the US administration are significant, but it's nothing compared to what Vietnam did to change the US and the world. Ask an average American between the ages of 18-30 how their lives changed between 1963 and 1973, then ask an average American how the 2000's have been so far. Facebook, Xbox360 and the iPhone probably have had more of a material impact on the average person than Iraq. I'd rather talk about Iraq (in a reasonable way) than most other things, but it doesn't deserve defacto "important" status the same way Vietnam would have.
posted by loquax at 11:04 AM on July 23, 2007


Late to the game, but may as well chime in:

I love y2karl's posts. If he had a blog, I'd read them there, but he posts to MetaFilter so I read them here.

Also, I agree thoroughly with languagehat, find SCdB to be hilarious, and noticed that somehow jonmc forgot to put 'me' into this comment.
posted by jtron at 11:25 AM on July 23, 2007


Why is it that Mefites have a hard time admitting Metafilter is "overwhelmingly left-liberal" except when telling y2karl to shut up and/or go away?
posted by davy at 12:11 PM on July 23, 2007


"Vietnam was the first major US conflict since the Korean War."

Operation Iraqi Freedom was the first major U.S. conflict since Operation Desert Storm. What's your point?
posted by davy at 12:13 PM on July 23, 2007


Why is it that Mefites have a hard time admitting Metafilter is "overwhelmingly left-liberal" except when telling y2karl to shut up and/or go away?

Simple- because they instinctively know it's not true.
posted by mkultra at 12:18 PM on July 23, 2007


I'm having a hard time admitting it, because I don't know what you mean. Was that an attempt at sarcasm?
posted by found missing at 12:18 PM on July 23, 2007


I do not, however, think MeFi is "overwhelmingly" left-liberal. Speaking as someone who fits that label, I find it annoyingly Libertarian.

Other than the presence of a vocal group that frequently criticizes the war on drugs, what about this place strikes you as big-l libertarian?
posted by Kwantsar at 12:19 PM on July 23, 2007


Operation Iraqi Freedom was the first major U.S. conflict since Operation Desert Storm. What's your point?

For the answer to your question, please see the other 95% of my comment.
posted by loquax at 12:33 PM on July 23, 2007


Other than the presence of a vocal group that frequently criticizes the war on drugs, what about this place strikes you as big-l libertarian?

Perhaps not big-l libertarian, but MeFi's generally liberal social views go hand-in-hand with a fairly conservative/laissez-faire economic attitude. When I need to find an Objectivist defense of music piracy, I always know where to go.
posted by mkultra at 12:44 PM on July 23, 2007


"Other than the presence of a vocal group that frequently criticizes the war on drugs, what about this place strikes you as big-l libertarian?"

The Free Market Mousekateers, along with the shouting down of stuff perceived to be "PC" or "socialist."

I think, overall, it conforms to the larger tendency of many second-wave internet adopters to be libertarian in outlook.

(Sometimes this is good, sometimes this is bad.)
posted by klangklangston at 12:46 PM on July 23, 2007


Too much focus on Y2K here. The OP's point was that the large total numer of Iraq posts has rendered them all tedious.
posted by LarryC at 8:51 AM on July 23 [+] [!]


Agreed. And I find them not at all tedious. Metatalk thread about that coming up I guess.
posted by juiceCake at 1:04 PM on July 23, 2007


Two cents: I think there are few folks with real libertarian stripes here, but lots and lots of one-note, weak-muscled, half-assed "hands off my insert-pet-subject-here" types.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:18 PM on July 23, 2007


Well, obviously, we need a libertarianeity scale, so we can tell who really is more Libertarian than thou. Because Heaven forbid we should have imprecise labels.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:35 PM on July 23, 2007


Yeah, but libertarians reject your attempt to impose rules, structure and classification. ;-)
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:44 PM on July 23, 2007


IraqFilter Is Awful.

Be sure to tell an Iraqi next time you see one; I'm sure they feel terrible.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:23 PM on July 23, 2007


I'd just like to say that it's an asshole move to defend Karl's posts by deprecating other "less important" posts. Your arguement is with the people who don't like Karl's posts, not posts that aren't on the subject of Iraq or other weighty matters. Leave 'em alone.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:25 PM on July 23, 2007


jonmc: I've known karl (in the cybersense) for a long time, and I like and respect him and in a general way agree with him.

Did anyone else read that as "carnal sense" the first time through?

No?
posted by spiderwire at 2:51 PM on July 23, 2007


SCDB writes Part of the "group hate" bonding exercise is to viciously excoriate anyone who doesn't toe the party line.

Snorted Fresca through my nose because of the unknowing hypocrisy of this little phrase. Delightful. Shouldn't you be updating your little chickenhawk blog these days? And by that I mean, taking a flame-thrower to every stupid, misguided, and ill-informed thing you ever posted in your precious neo-con love-letters?

Here we are in the 21st century, with a bunch of adults sitting at computers, with access to information of all sorts. And a vocal minority of them begging, pleading, and whining for the mods to spare them the horrible unpleasantness of having to click on FPP's that they don't have to. Please, for the final time -- Iraq posts are very much your problem, not ours. So why can't you just ignore them, the way I ignore posts on topics X, Y, or Z? Seriously -- it genuinely bugs me that instead of acting like adults and self-moderating, you beg and bitch and moan for mods to do that for you.

Also, for the bazillionth time, there's nothing "fringe" or "radical" about mefi ca. 2007. In terms of the median politics of all users, it's pretty much squarely in line the views of the world at large, not to mention the American public -- this war is bad, Bush is bad, and for the most part the Republican party has been bad. That is precisely what y2karl's last post touched on, and it would really do some of you some good to read the fucking article rather than coming here and bitching and whining to be saved from yourselves. Or, ya know, just skip the whole thing entirely and go outside for a walk or whatever.
posted by bardic at 3:00 PM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


When I need to find an Objectivist defense of music piracy, I always know where to go.

You may not know that Rand was to some degree a proponent of intellectual property rights. I'd imagine that some/many objectivists are just as split over the issue as we small-l libertarians are.

Furthermore, given the level of snark directed at the invisible hand around this place (you can practically set your watch to it), I believe Cool Papa Bell's analysis is the right one.
posted by Kwantsar at 3:02 PM on July 23, 2007


Posts about Iraq don't sell valuable ads.
posted by meehawl at 3:19 PM on July 23, 2007


I'm beginning to wonder if threads like this one (this MeTa one, not y2karl's one that inspired it) arer really about politics instead of people carrying on personal grudge matches.
posted by jonmc at 3:21 PM on July 23, 2007


Honest question directed at LarryC, loquax, SCDB, and the rest of the Iraq-filter whiners -- please take a gander at this current Iraq FPP and tell me it isn't worthwhile, regardless of your personal politics.
posted by bardic at 3:26 PM on July 23, 2007


Oh, and
The blockquote format doesn't fit in with the rest of the site?
This is why we need INLINE FRAMES. Until then, I'll restrict myself to posting everything hardcore in the title, id and name tags.
posted by meehawl at 3:36 PM on July 23, 2007


hobby horse posts from someone who, in my opinion, is using the MeFi audience as his own soapbox.

Jess, the extent of your political activity ends at installing linux on the computers in your library.

I really love to see posts from people who aren't sleepwalking through their lives - karl has added far more value to this site than you or portland's answer to george formby ever will.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:22 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Bardic: I'll assume good faith here (even though you called me a whiner) (and drink Fresca). I think the post about the Iraqi museum director is fine. It is not something we have read a million damn times before.
posted by LarryC at 4:22 PM on July 23, 2007


Wow, Sarge, haven't slept it off yet, have ya?
posted by klangklangston at 4:27 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, at least you're not being a dick about it or anything.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:31 PM on July 23, 2007


portland's answer to george formby ever will.

*comes hither with zither*
posted by jonmc at 4:33 PM on July 23, 2007


Honest question directed at LarryC, loquax, SCDB, and the rest of the Iraq-filter whiners

Whiner? I explicitly said I would rather read about Iraq than most other topics, and that I would want y2karl's posts to stay. I'm trying to say either keep them all or delete them all (within reason) and make it clear which it's going to be.
posted by loquax at 4:53 PM on July 23, 2007


Honest question directed at LarryC, loquax, SCDB, and the rest of the Iraq-filter whiners -- please take a gander at this current Iraq FPP and tell me it isn't worthwhile, regardless of your personal politics.

I think the "The Diary of Dr. Saad Eskander" is among the Best of the Web. But I also think it's 180 degrees in value and scarcity from the y2karl posts (which aren't bad, per se, but we're discussing context, not content).
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:17 PM on July 23, 2007


Well, at least you're not being a dick about it or anything.

Cortex - you either do the high and mighty karl slammin paragraphs charting the future of mefi for us (thanks for that - we had no idea where the site was going without you and jess's guidance) or you stick to the plucky little guy one liners that many of us believed reflected your true personality - you can't do both.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:22 PM on July 23, 2007


Posts about Iraq don't sell valuable ads.
posted by meehawl at 6:19 PM on July 23 [+] [!]


Actually, they probably sold a lot of ads and $5 memberships.

As for y2karl, reading his posts is like attending a college poli-sci lecture, and on a good day the comments are like the following precept discussions, plus instead of a $50K/yr tuition, it only cost you five bucks total. Hail Professor karl.
posted by caddis at 5:23 PM on July 23, 2007


high and mighty karl slammin paragraphs

I'm pretty sure I haven't slammed y2karl a bit. I've said many times I think he puts his posts together well and that, of the folks posting in this genre, he does just about the best goddam job that can be done.

What I said here was that I wish there was less of the iraq/bushco/outrage postage in general. That includes karl not because he does a shitty job but because it's such a consistent wall of issue posts and he's a very visible part of that. I have no doubt you can handle the idea of appreciating someone's craft and yet not liking the trend it is part of, so give me a goddam break for disagreeing with you.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:33 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


As for y2karl, reading his posts is like attending a college poli-sci lecture

Dude, that's not a compliment. Who wants to sit in a classroom and be lectured. If I wanted that I would've paid attention in class.

(not an attack on carl, just an observation on caddis' comment)
posted by jonmc at 5:39 PM on July 23, 2007


Attention back-taggers. You might put this one to use:

high and mighty karl slammin
posted by found missing at 5:42 PM on July 23, 2007


That said, thanks to jessamyn for quickly giving rockhopper a timeout. It's a real shame that a couple of assholes who consistently shit in political threads are coming close to ruining all political posts here. Mods, please continue quickly giving timeouts to the *real* problem: jerks who use political threads as their personal insult playground.

I totally agree with this and want to thank Jess for the timeout as well.

And for the record, although I am largely a LOL youtube poster in style myself, I hope we never reach a day that we eliminate posts on Iraq or any of the most significant issues of the day. Y2karl's posts are indeed "the best of the web" and, in my opinion, a quintessential part of the mefi experience. As far as there being other places to find Iraq info, I would say there are other places to find cool things, too. But I like my cool things mixed in with my serious and weighty things right here in this endearing yet dysfunctional group of smart, snarky people.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:47 PM on July 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


People, there is a WAR on... the war in Iraq is the most important thing going on at the moment.

"In Time of 'The Breaking Of Nations'"

Only a man harrowing clods
  In a slow silent walk
With an old horse that stumbles and nods
  Half asleep as they stalk.

Only thin smoke without flame
  From the heaps of couch-grass;
Yet this will go onward the same
  Though Dynasties pass.

Yonder a maid and her wight
  Come whispering by:
War's annals will cloud into night
  Ere their story die.

— Thomas Hardy

Hardy unaccountably fails to mention YouTube mashups and cats on scanners, but otherwise his point is well taken.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:02 PM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


"look at me, you silly leftiez! I'm on a cross! Whee!"

I think those were the actual words that Jesus said on that one fateful Friday afternoon.
posted by NoMich at 6:09 PM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


Who's George Formby? Seriously, I don't know.

Also, I think the "The Diary of Dr. Saad Eskander" is among the Best of the Web. But I also think it's 180 degrees in value and scarcity from the y2karl posts (which aren't bad, per se, but we're discussing context, not content).

So an FPP is never verboten in virtue of its topic. Politics-filter is fine, as long as it's interesting to members of the community. News-filter is fine, as long as it's interesting to members of the community. Iraq-filter is fine, as long as it's interesting to members of the community.

See where I'm going here? The whiners want to block off certain topic qua subject. Shouldn't happen, and won't happen. So why do we have to listen to their constant bitching and moaning?
posted by bardic at 6:24 PM on July 23, 2007


Dude, that's not a compliment. Who wants to sit in a classroom and be lectured. If I wanted that I would've paid attention in class.

Dude (like are we in the valley or something?), a college lecture, rather than a parent lecture, done well, distills information from someone who has spent more time studying it and thinking about than you have. y2karl has spent more time studying it and thinking about it than most of us. We benefit from his scholarship.
posted by caddis at 6:50 PM on July 23, 2007


I really love to see posts from people who aren't sleepwalking through their lives

Dude, you posted an AskMe soliciting suggestions for chick flicks. That shit's not just sleepwalking, that's Terry Schiavo on elephant tranquilizers and cryogenically preserved.

Oh wait, I forgot. You were asking for your "friend".

So why do we have to listen to their constant bitching and moaning?

Just as folks who are pro-Iraq/NewsFilter point out to people who don't share their views, no one is forcing you to read it.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:54 PM on July 23, 2007


Don't mind the threads at all.

I hope y2karl keeps posting them.
posted by ageispolis at 6:54 PM on July 23, 2007


We benefit from his [linking to other people's] scholarship.
You were close.
posted by peacay at 6:58 PM on July 23, 2007


bardic: fuck off. You're the one doing most of the whining in this thread.
posted by timeistight at 7:00 PM on July 23, 2007


Please calm down, y'all.

I have a little anecdote. This weekend, after getting in a shouting match with dios and getting kinda preachy and crazy on a few threads -- as I tend to do -- I wandered elsewhere and happened to post in a blog that I used to find reasonable, in a thread that was identical to a MeFi topic, and said the same thing I said there I said here.

But, whereas on MeFi there was just some heated (though mostly thoughtful) discussion, over there I immediately -- immediately -- called me a "troll," an "asshole," a sockpuppet, and worse, and got a few thinly-veiled threats -- all from site regulars, all leftists. That's never happened to me before, and I've said far worse, amongst much more "mixed" company. One of the token conservatives (who'd be really, really rightwing here, and gets abused over there on a regular basis) actually waved me off fairly politely, and the site owners had to come in to the thread and tell people to calm down -- and then they got yelled at. It was astonishing.

OK, another data point. Today Kos actually posted a diary asking people to tone down the rancor on DK. Read that again real quick -- Markos Moulitsas had to post a diary asking people to be less crazy on Daily Kos. Predictably, LGF, Malkin, and the usual suspects have already jumped all over him, tied it to JetBlue, etc., etc. It's ugly.

This isn't isolated to politics sites. In an impeachment thread on an another non-political site last week, I actually backed out of the thread because it was just getting too ridiculous. Maybe I overestimate myself, but I've never considered myself particularly polite on MeFi, and I admit to being downright mean at times -- though I do try to be quick to apologize... it's not personal, I'm just excitable -- but I didn't want to get anywhere near it. I just backed slowly out of the room.

I suppose what I'm saying is that I've been getting the sense over the last month or so that people are getting really, really pissed off, and while that's been somewhat palpable here as well, look at where we are. A few arguments and timeouts -- but no flameouts -- and the mods have done a decent job despite getting slightly more flames and direct insults than usual (again, my observation). Compare to Kos, where people are calling to burn the mods at the stake for even asking them to calm down (he didn't even propose specific penalties, let alone actually timeout or ban anyone). In the threads, they're discussing stalkers and gun threats amongst users.

Maybe I'm wrong. But maybe we should count our blessings. I was livid at dios on Friday, but in retrospect, OK, it's dios -- I've called him names before, he's done the same to me, and we'll probably do it again. Whatever. He likes to push people's buttons, but there are worse trolls. At least he's good at it. We've also got some very reasonable conservatives here (Smedleyman, for example, is a treasure all on his own), and while the site is left-leaning, the echo-chamber effect really isn't so bad here. I read a lot of leftie blogs, and I still learn a lot from MeFi. Complaining about y2karl's "IraqFilter" threads is a luxury -- it's at least a somewhat topical issue, they're easy to skip, and he manages to pack more in those blockquotes than you could find in an entire blogroll of most dedicated politics blogs.

I don't mean to be all rah-rah, but we've actually got it pretty good here. Net politics has been getting dirty over the past month. It might be wise to look at where everyone else seems to be headed before we walk down that path ourselves.
posted by spiderwire at 7:05 PM on July 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


timeistight, I'm not calling anyone out for posting about stuff they care about in a sufficiently interesting manner. I'm not suggesting there are swaths of human experience that we need our mod-mommies and daddies to prevent us from engaging with.

Please grow the fuck up and stop trying to push your agenda onto everybody else.
posted by bardic at 7:19 PM on July 23, 2007


Yeah, the only people in here that seem to be whining are the people screaming about how important the war is and bitching about how everyone else just doesn't get it.

And sgt.serenity taking cheap shots at the mods because he apparently still has diaper rash from shitting himself here a couple days ago.
posted by puke & cry at 7:20 PM on July 23, 2007


I've been getting the sense over the last month or so that people are getting really, really pissed off
Me too - there seems to be a real groundswell across the globe at the moment that things in general are all fucked up and I hope someone important notices before it erupts into something even more stupid than the monumentally fucked-up "war on terror". I'm really worried, in fact, that we are headed for something bad in the very near future when the frustration of people world-wide finally boils over. My only hope is that, when it happens, it doesn't get used as yet another excuse to further erode our privacy and civil rights but acts as a wake-up call to those in power. I hope, but I'm not very hopeful.
posted by dg at 7:30 PM on July 23, 2007


If anything, the mods have nixed more Iraq posts as of late than usual. So a decent one from y2karl gets dragged into the gray, and people point out the obvious (well-written articles about Iraq are or can be "best of the web" material), and this supposedly shows "people screaming about how important the war is"?

If you don't like it, skip it. Really, a person who wants to participate here but can't grok that simple little phrase is, by all objective standards, a bitchy little whiner.

Try not to be, mkay?
posted by bardic at 7:31 PM on July 23, 2007


George Formby

Where is the ukelele goodness?!?

they probably sold a lot of ads

I said valuable ads. I tried several refreshes on the thread in question and the ads displayed there seems pretty cheap and low-value. I'm thinking most higher paying, consumer item marketeers want to steer away from political content, and besides, if it's serious political niche advertising you're looking then then there's kos and lgf. That's why, from a financial perspective, it's better to have endless questions about ipods, iphones, gadgets, etc. Also, more stuff about 3r3cti1e dysfunct10n and a5be5to5i5 and sex in general. get the clickthroughs up.
posted by meehawl at 7:36 PM on July 23, 2007


I've been getting the sense over the last month or so that people are getting really, really pissed off

Indeed, spiderwire. It reminds me of when rioters burn down their own neighborhoods, but more pathetic and impotent.
There's also a broken windows/Microsoft joke in there, but I'm too busy swearing at klang's baseball game to make it... "Goddam!"
Bastard.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:37 PM on July 23, 2007


I'm thinking most higher paying, consumer item marketeers want to steer away from political content

I think that if Matt really wanted to court big-time marketers and make Super-Duper/Fuck You/Stupid Money, he'd close MeTa.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:42 PM on July 23, 2007


Please . . . stop trying to push your agenda onto everybody else.

Just so.
posted by LarryC at 7:42 PM on July 23, 2007


Alvy: seriously, people are losing it [warning: DailyKos link]:
"I don't care how much she provoked you (and I agree that you have a right to be mightily pissed off that she posted digits from your mother's phone number on this site), you too crossed the line by talking about using firearms against her, and by boasting about hiring a private detective to track her down. Talking about using firearms against another member of this community is just not something that should be tolerated..."
...really? you don't say?
"...You might not believe me, but I have no desire to see you banned from this site"
... WHY THE FUCK NOT!?
posted by spiderwire at 7:50 PM on July 23, 2007


Holy fuck, Spiderwire, that is some nasty venom. We are a bunch of boy scouts here. Hey Bardic, come over here and let me kiss you, you big lug.
posted by LarryC at 8:03 PM on July 23, 2007


I really don't know why you're frothing at the mouth over this, bardic. Look, I don't have anything against you but your attitude in this thread has been nothing but that of what you're accusing the people that dissgree with you.

"It didn't bother anyone but you." "...it would really do some of you some good to read the fucking article rather than coming here and bitching and whining to be saved from yourselves." "See where I'm going here? The whiners want to block off certain topic qua subject. Shouldn't happen, and won't happen. So why do we have to listen to their constant bitching and moaning?" "Really, a person who wants to participate here but can't grok that simple little phrase is, by all objective standards, a bitchy little whiner."

Really, if you don't see that as whining then I just don't know what to tell you. Also "...stop trying to push your agenda onto everybody else." You realize that's ALL y2karl does here and is exactly what you're supporting? Maybe it's time for you to take your own advice and "just skip the whole thing entirely and go outside for a walk or whatever."
posted by puke & cry at 8:31 PM on July 23, 2007


Or, you know, he could take a moment to himself, cool out a bit by taking some time alone to put together a meticulously linked damnation of another user.

I FUCKING HATE IT WHEN WHOEVER WROTE THE NEXT COMMENT WRITES COMMENTS LIKE THAT. THAT CUNTLICK DOES IT ALL THE TIME SEE POSTING HISTORY FOR MOTHERFUCKING CRUCIFYING SMACKDOWN EVIDENCE. fuck.
posted by carsonb at 8:49 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


"WILL NO ONE THINK OF THE CATS GOING UNSCRATCHED BECAUSE OF THESE THREADS!"

Meant to thank you for that one a couple of days ago, Katullus. My cat's been getting scratched much more this week and he thanks you, too.
posted by mediareport at 8:49 PM on July 23, 2007


*scratches carsonb gently behind the ears and under the chin*
posted by mediareport at 8:50 PM on July 23, 2007


ROWR
posted by carsonb at 8:52 PM on July 23, 2007


So wait, an admin on DailyKos is named Stupid Asshole? That's so lovely in a self-effacing sort of way.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:53 PM on July 23, 2007


That's some nutty stuff, spiderwire. Yeesh.

*Scratches self, just 'cause he can*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:02 PM on July 23, 2007


bob sarabia writes You realize that's ALL y2karl does here and is exactly what you're supporting?

No, he makes posts about other stuff too. And you're welcome to participate in those, or just ignore them, as am I.

Seriously, are you even trying to argue with me? Do your homework at least.
posted by bardic at 9:03 PM on July 23, 2007


I STAND AGAINST THE FOLLOWING COMMENT BECAUSE I AM OF LOFTIER INTELLECT THAN THAT IDIONIC WASTE OF SKULLBONE WHAT WROTE IT AND BECAUSE I OCCUPY A MORAL HIGH GROUND COMPARED TO EVERYONE ELSE ON THIS WEBSITE. I PATENTLY IGNORE ANY POINTS THE FOLLOWING COMMENT MAY BE TRYING TO MAKE AGAINST WHAT I SAY HERE SEE PREVIOUS FOR WHY, YOU MORIOT.
posted by carsonb at 9:37 PM on July 23, 2007


That's some nutty stuff

I don't think I've been to Daily Kos in maybe a year. Certainly not more than a handful of times since the '04 elections. Right around then the vitriol became way intolerable.

So of course my morbid interest was piqued when I saw on memeorandum that Kos had posted a public announcement telling people to chill out. I thought, "Wow. Could it really have gotten that bad that he felt the need to step in? It can't be that much worse than when I left."

WRONG. WRONNNNGWRONGWRONG. NEVERGOINGBACK. EVER.

So wait, an admin on DailyKos is named Stupid Asshole? That's so lovely in a self-effacing sort of way.

I like the user named MeMeMeMeMe.
posted by spiderwire at 9:43 PM on July 23, 2007


Said loquax: "MeFi's generally liberal social views go hand-in-hand with a fairly conservative/laissez-faire economic attitude."

Of course: the majority here are suburban-raised white college-educated middleclass office workers, basically bourgeois. However "progressive" their social and political views they're not about to piss away their "advantages," and in time they'll repent of "the stupid things young people say." And they'll take their piercings out and get their tattoos lasered off.

Nevertheless, in U.S. terms the typical Mefite is the closest we come to a "left-liberal" under say 35, i.e. who is not a grizzled and bitter altekakker like me who got high with actual Yippies back before Abbie turned himself in. The age when there were, e.g., enough Trots to support at least three splinter groups per city are gone: most of those people went on to sell real estate or something, and even back in the '70s & '80s half the "radicals" were snitches if not sworn FBI agents. (They must not have thought I was very controversial then either.)

posted by davy at 9:43 PM on July 23, 2007


carsonb, it's always about YouYouYouYouYou, isn't it?
posted by spiderwire at 9:48 PM on July 23, 2007


I'd said: 'Said loquax: "MeFi's generally liberal social views go hand-in-hand with a fairly conservative/laissez-faire economic attitude."'

Sorry, that was mkultra. We all look alike in the dark.
posted by davy at 9:51 PM on July 23, 2007


There were actual Stalinists at the university I went to. Not nice people, and made the conservative-types look as dangerous as used-car salesmen.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:54 PM on July 23, 2007


carsonb, it's always about YouYouYouYouYou, isn't it?
posted by spiderwire at 9:48 PM on July 23 [+] [!]


Finally, some sense! This man is the pinnacle of reason, I would know.
posted by carsonb at 9:54 PM on July 23, 2007


bob sarabia writes You realize that's ALL y2karl does here and is exactly what you're supporting?

No, he makes posts about other stuff too. And you're welcome to participate in those, or just ignore them, as am I.

Seriously, are you even trying to argue with me? Do your homework at least.


I have an idea, you smarmy dickhead, why don't you address me by the name that I'm writing under? You're being such a childish prick in here, I swear. I can't imagine anyone is taking anything you say here seriously anymore. You'd done more harm than good to your position with your smart-ass, pointless comments.
posted by puke & cry at 9:58 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Jesus, I can't believe I got pulled back into this coprophilic shower of a thread. Just enjoy your wittiness in here, bardic. I have to brush this taste out of my mouth now.
posted by puke & cry at 10:09 PM on July 23, 2007


Just look at you two. You're reflections of each other.
posted by ageispolis at 10:24 PM on July 23, 2007


this coprophilic shower

I have to brush this taste out of my mouth now

PUKE AND CRY INDEED




seriously, now i have to go be sick somewhere, thanks a lot
posted by spiderwire at 10:36 PM on July 23, 2007


Well, this was fun.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:48 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Somebody link to tubgirl.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:59 PM on July 23, 2007


[calls down the infinite JRun corridors] For the love of all that's holy, shut down all wastewater in thread [looks up] #435916! Follow with an immediate low-level rinsing flush from the dam stat!!

[blessed whooshing of pure water]

and THAT, young MeFites, is why you never turn on the coprophilic shower with first checking to make sure it's not on "high," and why you always make sure it's pointed away from your face or someone else's.

now. someone get up there and take that thing away from bardic. See if you can get him to look into it then turn it on real quick just so he can get a taste of his own medicine. -- the trick is to keep it primed so he won't feel it pressurizin. Heehee. Best of luck all, good night. bardic, I want this whole thing cleaned by the morning, aye?
posted by spiderwire at 11:14 PM on July 23, 2007


Wait, make that 14604! I don't understand Matt's numbering anymore! Is anyone even down there?



JRun Error...
Jrun Error...
Teehee

posted by spiderwire at 11:16 PM on July 23, 2007


I really don't know why you're frothing at the mouth over this, bardic.

it's his favorite subject to froth at the mouth over ... one can almost set a clock by him
posted by pyramid termite at 1:29 AM on July 24, 2007


puke & sarabia writes I have an idea, you smarmy dickhead, why don't you address me by the name that I'm writing under?

It's the name you send me creepy emails under, natch.

And I'm happy many of you enjoyed my froth -- let people post the FPPs they want and criticize them for their given quality. That's really what this is all about. Stop trying to designate topics that us wee little ones just can't handle because we're oh so incapable of discourse.
posted by bardic at 2:00 AM on July 24, 2007


It was also the sock puppet you used to post under. So hard to keep up with a clever guy like yourself.
posted by bardic at 2:20 AM on July 24, 2007


bardic, I haven't been sending you any emails. Anyone sending you emails under my name is a scumbag, But it's not me. I was going to send this message to you via email but you removed you site from your profile. But whoever sent you whatever via email, it wasn't me. You can contact me via the aim name i have posted here. But I swear i haven't sent you any kind of emails.
posted by puke & cry at 2:31 AM on July 24, 2007


Uh huh. Now go away.
posted by bardic at 2:38 AM on July 24, 2007


Look, bardic. I don't know the hell is going on, but if you're getting messages from someone that says they're me, they are not. I don't know know what else i can say besides you can contact me via aim.
posted by bob sarabia at 2:51 AM on July 24, 2007


I would go for making karl the only person that gets to post about iraq - the dynamic that takes place after the links are up is nothing to do with karl, who only provides the content- it's up to everyone else after that - thats difficult when two of them seem to have been transfigured into metagods rather than admins, is touching the hem of matts garment really that powerful ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:28 AM on July 24, 2007


stop making sense
posted by ludwig_van at 3:44 AM on July 24, 2007


@bardic: so, are you being deliberately obtuse, or can you just not read?

I don't think many (if any) of the people bemoaning IraqFilter are saying that Iraq should be completely off limits as a front page post topic. What we are saying (at least, what I am saying), is pretty clear: if a post is nothing but IRAQ IRAQ IRAQ NOTHING NEW HERE BUT IRAQ IRAQ IRAQ, it sucks, and does not belong on the front page. Moreso, dumping a giant blog post onto the front page doesn't suddenly become acceptable because the topic is important.

Every single article ever written about Iraq does not need to end up on MetaFilter. Me saying so does not mean I don't think it's important; it simply means that I think that there are other, better places to be getting such articles, if that's what I feel like reading. Having them continuously posted them to MeFi (where, let's face it, they turn into shitstorms) is bad for the site, and more to the point, even if the threads went swimmingly, don't typically add any new information.

Let me repeat, as others have: Important != Interesting. Rehash upon rehash of an "important" topic with no real new or interesting angle is a recipe for shitty discussions that MeFi really doesn't need.
posted by tocts at 4:29 AM on July 24, 2007


thats difficult when two of them seem to have been transfigured into metagods rather than admins, is touching the hem of matts garment really that powerful ?

I'd kinda like if some people around here stopped projecting their own hero worship across the MeFi populace. Not everybody cares about the names.
posted by dreamsign at 4:51 AM on July 24, 2007


Every single article ever written about Iraq does not need to end up on MetaFilter.
You should be happy, then, because the vast majority of them don't.

... I think that there are other, better places to be getting such articles ...
Some of us think you're wrong.

Having them continuously posted them to MeFi (where, let's face it, they turn into shitstorms) is bad for the site ...
A: They are not continuously posted to the site. B: They do not inevitably turn into shitstorms. C: Your opinion of what's bad for the site is one you're welcome to, however wrong it is.

... more to the point, even if the threads went swimmingly, don't typically add any new information.
You haven't actually read any of the posts inquestion, or all of this thread, have you?

Important != Interesting.
Show me where someone said otherwise, please.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:08 AM on July 24, 2007


puke & cry, he's just trying to wind you up. Next he's going to accuse you of having a crush and sublimating it by stalking him.

And agreed, dreamsign. The ones who are loudest in their denunciations of the cult of personality are, quelle surprise, the ones who buy into more than anyone else.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:10 AM on July 24, 2007


@Kirth Gerson: without re-reading the entire 200+ reply thread, how about these two examples?
posted by tocts at 5:25 AM on July 24, 2007


the dynamic that takes place after the links are up is nothing to do with karl, who only provides the content- it's up to everyone else after that

But the dynamic that takes place after the links are up is the problem. It's that it often goes so badly that bothers me. It'd be a whole different ballgame if every political thread that got posted lead to nothing but smart, pointed discussions of the issues that really show off mefi's best capacities, but what we often get is a bunch of GRR ARRG HULK SMASH retreads and cameos by shit-stirrers who know a powderkeg when they see it.

The in-kind lazy-ass political me-too posts are just a worse reflection of that. It's not y2karl's—or any other thoughtful poster's—fault that some folks put together shitty, railing editorial single-linkers, but it's hard to deny that like begets like, topically; from newsy outrage-filter comes newsy outrage-filter, and the occasional shocked complaint from a rebuked poster that "Metafilter is for news!" as if the site has never had any other function, the non-news content just farkish window dressing around the main event. That's a really depressing proposition to me.

In all fairness, we see the worst of it in greater proportion from the admin side. I don't often read the poli threads for pleasure, having been so turned off from them over time by the dynamic they produce, and it was kind of an unpleasant shock when I started looking at them again out of necessity. They don't all go bad; some of them do go pretty well, and that can be good stuff. No denying it, and no complaint about it either. I'm willing to bet that the ones for which we don't end up having to check two dozen flags or field a Metatalk callout or angry emails are a lot less messy. And yet:

An overwhelming proportion of the bad shit that does go down on the blue goes down in those threads. It's not a happenstance aversion to the topic that has us feeling weary about it, it's the shockingly focused grind of bad, the inevitable correlation. People can and do freak out or get nasty at each other now and then in all sorts of threads, but it's the exception rather than the rule in everything but the issue posts, the outrage posts and the war updates and the bushadmin takedowns and etc. Even posters who do a legitimately good job of discussing those things in good weather will get vituperative and start slinging shit around, and that makes it a lot harder to view the problem as bad apples rather than just plain bad context.

So, yeah, some posts are better than others. We delete the really shitty ones by default, and we're going to keep deleting some of the pretty borderline ones too. We haven't been saying a damn thing about about forbidding the topic, but the dynamic of the front page—and the amount of crazy antagonistic shit going down in threads—is going to affect how the throttle gets handled.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:55 AM on July 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Slap Factory, here's how it works: quonsar gets a free pass to troll, and y2karl gets a free pass to post iraqfilter. They're dirty jobs, and we're lucky to have two people who are so good at doing them.
posted by flabdablet at 5:58 AM on July 24, 2007


Cortex, maybe the reason people get heated in politics threads is that politics is one of the few topics that actually, you know, matters.

And, bad as they may be by comparison with other Metafilter content, Metafilter politics threads are consistently less horrid, and consequently more thought-provoking, than those on any other forum I've ever seen on these here Internets.
posted by flabdablet at 6:02 AM on July 24, 2007


tocts, neither nowanmai nor languagehat even use the word 'interesting' in those comments. Try reading what people are writing, instead of assuming you know what they're saying.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:18 AM on July 24, 2007


the amount of crazy antagonistic shit going down in threads—is going to affect how the throttle gets handled.

Taken literally, does this not mean that all that is required to throttle discussion of and links to a given topic is to get really disruptive and antagonistic in those threads? Because this sounds like a roadmap, if not an outright invitation, to do just that.

Rather than worry about disruptive topics, might it not make more sense to focus on disruptive users, regardless of political stripe?
posted by trondant at 6:26 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


flabdablet, I get the argument on both counts, but neither of them makes the actual quagmire any less of a quagmire. I don't buy the apologist argument that Metafilter should be allowed, even tacitly encouraged, to be shittier just because people are passionate about the impetus to the shittiness. Nor does that it is less shitty here than elsewhere make it not shitty.

Hence the frustration when this stuff crests, and when we start hearing a clamoring argument that what would otherwise be really awful behavior should get a free pass and a smile because It's Important. It's important that we yell awful things at each other daily, in text on this specific website, because we're angry about the shite state of affairs? Is the comparison of Mefi to other more overtly political (and in lockstep with that, by common attestation in here, more overtly shitty and intolerable) forums something that makes sense as an argument for encouraging overt political stuff here?
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:31 AM on July 24, 2007


Seconding trondant.

If people behave badly in threads about topic X, doesn't it make more sense to sanction the misbehavior than the topic? Commentors who are routinely abusive or disrespectful in Iraq threads should not be allowed to poison an entire subject matter, even if they're nice and respectful other threads. I realize that's more moderator-toil, at least initially, but pruning an entire subject more stringently because some people can't be respectful is like closing a highway because of some incidents of road-rage.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:38 AM on July 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


by shit-stirrers who know a powderkeg when they see it.

Again, please continue ruthlessly giving timeouts to those people. We *can* have good political discussions here, if the mods were to go a bit overboard for a while in eliminating the jerks who ruin even well-constructed political threads.
posted by mediareport at 6:43 AM on July 24, 2007


@Kirth Gerson: hooray for being pedantic. While neither used the word "interesting", both of them implied that because the war is important it therefore deserves to be on the front page of MeFi, regardless of whether a given article/link/whatever about it is interesting. I strongly disagree with this. Just because it is important does not mean we need to continue to re-hash it over and over again if there is nothing new to add to the discussion.
posted by tocts at 6:44 AM on July 24, 2007


Or, what Kirth just said.
posted by mediareport at 6:44 AM on July 24, 2007


And, by extension, we all need to start flagging the hell out of asshole behavior in political threads.
posted by mediareport at 6:45 AM on July 24, 2007


Taken literally, does this not mean that all that is required to throttle discussion of and links to a given topic is to get really disruptive and antagonistic in those threads? Because this sounds like a roadmap, if not an outright invitation, to do just that.

Dude, rockhopper got a vacation for being a crazy abusive nutter in these threads recently; anybody who feels the game desire to do likewise will get the same. I have no idea if he was doing it for the joy of riling people up or out of some meta-agenda, though I'm leaning heavily toward the former because it makes more sense.

The problem with these threads lies in the folks who aren't trying to be agents provocateur, the folks who are in something like good faith descending regularly into ugly brawls or grindy rehashes of previous threads. Unless you're suggesting that we start banning people for being argumentative, the politics-going-badly thing isn't as simple as "focusing on disruptive users". What's the threshold for a timeout? Do you have any idea how many people would be taking a week off if we strictly enforced "don't be a disruptive asshole" in those threads? How many people in this thread can claim not to have really gotten into the shit on one of these threads, to have started arguing the user rather than the topic, even if only in response to someone else being out of line?

I'm not saying the argument is without merit, but I don't think it's nearly so simple or objective an idea as it sounds when put like that. It's not just moderator toil, it'd be a tremendously heavy-handed shift in moderation policy, and I think it's far from simple to draw a clean line between actionable and non-actionable behavior here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:52 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I realize that's more moderator-toil, at least initially, but pruning an entire subject more stringently because some people can't be respectful is like closing a highway because of some incidents of road-rage.

I'd agree with you if we had more than about 1.5 FTEs of moderators here. The amount of attention it takes to keep a thread like that in line is substantial and both cortex and I have other jobs and mathowie and pb focus more on the programming/backend/database stuff. Once things spiral out of control in just one of those threads, you can't just dive in and ban people and delete comments because the thread has already gotten going and all the good and bad comments are interwoven with each other.

Add to this that deleting comments also comes back to MeTa with the It's Important caveat (as in "it's okay for me to be violently pissed off because this is a seriously important issue") and we're in a bit of a bind. We could ratchet up the deletions on comments, but that's not going to please a whole bunch of other people, and it's impractical given the amount of attention we have to give to the site overall, and the fraction of that attention that we can give to political threads. Just banning rockhopper -- which was fairly cut and dried -- involved following the thread, rading emails, sending an email, deleting some comments, checking back in and finally deciding to flip the switch and then going back and removing people responding to his older comments who hadnt read that he'd been time-outed. I'm not like "oh woe is me" here, I'm just saying it's hard to make that sort of thing scale.

In short, being more aggressive with the comments would entail a change in the guidelines or a whole bunch more admin work for the types of posts that none of the mods even read much less enjoy and that all three of us see as not central to the main focus of the site. You can bitch all you want that paying attention to funny old youtube videos and flash games and weird nettrivia is lame when people are dying in Iraq, but I don't think it's the job of every website to cover every issue and I think we've all been clear that there are great ways to do political posts that encourage thoughtful discussion and then there are the rest of them. y2karl's posts are great as posts, but the discussion they often spawn is not.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:59 AM on July 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Just because it is important does not mean we need to continue to re-hash it over and over again if there is nothing new to add to the discussion.

There you go again. Your assumption that "there is nothing new" tells me you haven't actually been reading the posts.

Like all the "yeah, we get it!" complainers, you seem to think the object of the politics posts is to make the simple point that Bush (or the war) sucks. That is not the point. Some of us like to stay informed about just how the world is developing. Knowing that the war sucks is not going to do that; it doesn't tell us any of a hundred things we think are worth knowing - things that are being done to us, or in our names. Things that aren't in the newspapers or on TV or even on the major political sites.

I understand that you aren't interested in learning those things. Your solution is simple - don't expend the energy to click those posts. Please. Don't.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:27 AM on July 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm not saying the argument is without merit, but I don't think it's nearly so simple or objective an idea as it sounds when put like that.

I don't either. Mainly, I just wanted to see something in writing to that effect ;) My interest was primarily in foreclosing on that as a possible approach to how commenters deal with unwanted topics rather than making more claims on your time.

I do agree that it'd take more hands to do things that way; I also know that 100% consistency is unattainable in any effort involving people. We're headed into an election year, though, and I don't expect things to lighten up in that regard anytime soon. So, I envy none of you there.



How many people in this thread can claim not to have really gotten into the shit on one of these threads, to have started arguing the user rather than the topic, even if only in response to someone else being out of line?


I'm pretty sure I fall into that category myself. Point taken.
posted by trondant at 7:38 AM on July 24, 2007


There you go again. Your assumption that "there is nothing new" tells me you haven't actually been reading the posts.

The posts are new. Many of the slugfests aren't. They're variations on a theme, often with the same players.

Just for the record, I sent dios an apology last Friday for precisely this reason, which is not something I'm generally inclined to do (and yes, I am a huge sucker, and yes, it was sincere). See my long comment upthread and the one following it about Daily Kos people threatening each other with firearms for more info.

Taken literally, does this not mean that all that is required to throttle discussion of and links to a given topic is to get really disruptive and antagonistic in those threads? Because this sounds like a roadmap, if not an outright invitation, to do just that.

I believe that cortex is talking about 2 things, though I don't want to put words in his mouth:
(1) Individual timeouts for people being assholes.
(2) A higher standard of quality for posts on the topic. (Compare, e.g., my most recent FPP with y2karl's for examples of what isn't/is up to that standard).
Neither of those two strategies necessitates shutting down discussions, outright bannings, nor any of the other things you seem to be implying.

It's just the straightforward admonition that if you're going to post PoliticsFilter/IraqFilter stuff, think twice and make sure it's a damn good post, and if you're going to participate in the discussions, try to keep a handle on yourself.

This shouldn't require rehashing, but given the general tenor of American politics in the last month I can't say it's out of place.
posted by spiderwire at 7:43 AM on July 24, 2007


What Kirth said.

There are a lot of things on MeFi and not everyone will love, or even like, all of those things. If you don't like the political threads just stay out of them. On any given day about half of the fpps are pure garbage, at least from my perspective. That doesn't bother me so much if there are some great ones thrown in. I like the quirky and funny posts and I like the ones that make you think. A good political post like those by y2karl make me think. They go well beyond "the war sucks." He is a voracious reader vacuuming up sources from all over the web and filtering it down to the most interesting stuff for us to enjoy, or to skip over if that is your choice. It's funny to hear people complain about the slugfests and asshole behavior in the political threads. I think MeFi has about the most civil political discussions to be found online. It's in MeTa where the gloves come off.
posted by caddis at 7:48 AM on July 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Do you have any idea how many people would be taking a week off if we strictly enforced "don't be a disruptive asshole" in those threads?

Just start *doing it*, cortex. Please. And yes, that would have meant a timeout or two for me in the past, I'm sure.

Just start doing it.
posted by mediareport at 7:53 AM on July 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


@Kirth Gerson: Like all the "yeah, we get it!" complainers, you seem to think the object of the politics posts is to make the simple point that Bush (or the war) sucks.

Like all the "RAWR ALL POLITICS MUST BE ON MEFI RAWR" crowd, you seem to think that if you didn't deign to bequeath on us plebeians your superior political knowledge, we'd just wallow in our own shit all day because god knows there's no such thing as a source of political news beyond the shitstorms on MeFi!

Get this into your head: MeFi has never been primarily about politics. The very people who run it are entirely uninterested in even reading political threads (let alone participating in them!), excepting when they have to because of the inevitable shitstorms that result.

The fact that MeFi doesn't focus enough on serious political issues for you personally is not a fault; it is a feature. If you don't like it, feel free to take up reading one of the thousands of websites on the internet devoted entirely to up to the minute updates on whatever the latest political topic of interest is.
posted by tocts at 7:54 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think MeFi has about the most civil political discussions to be found online.

Agreed, but that's faint praise. The coming year is really going to be horrid for MeFi politics junkies (and we've always been here, tocts) *unless* the mods start enforcing a ruthless discipline, at least for a while, of politeness in political discussions.

MeFi really could get a reputation as one of the last few places left online for smart, sharp, open political discussion, *if* it first got a reputation as a place where bullshit behavior in political threads, regardless of partisan affiliation, resulted in quick timeouts. Yeah, it's a lot of work, but the U.S. election is going to cause a lot of work for the mods no matter what. This way, those of us who enjoy politics at MeFi end up with a great little spot for smart discussion that draws more smart members while all the rest of the political sites sink slowly in their own shit.

And *that* would be a positive thing for MeFi.
posted by mediareport at 8:05 AM on July 24, 2007


tocts, just stay out of the political threads and you will be happy. What is your complaint anyway?
posted by caddis at 8:07 AM on July 24, 2007


MeFi really could get a reputation as one of the last few places left online for smart, sharp, open political discussion

If you really think that sort of reputation would draw "more smart members" here, I think you're overly optimistic about the intarwebs.

Quick timeouts, yes. But if you see anyone from the poliblogs even glancing this way, it's time to start in with the HULK SMASH for a minute or two until they go away...
posted by spiderwire at 8:12 AM on July 24, 2007


Jess, have the mods even considered the possibility of bringing a politics-specific mod or two onboard for the U.S. election cycle? Someone who *does* care about the political threads that have been part of MeFi for years and are sure to appear frequently over the next year, and who can be put to work doing nothing but strictly enforcing "don't be an asshole" in political threads?

Believe me, I'm not saying I'm worthy of the position (seriously, I know I'm not) but if you put out the call, I bet you'd get responses from folks you think would be pretty good at that kind of focused enforcement. If you don't want to do it, is it a lot to ask that you at least consider getting someone in there who does? These threads aren't going away over the next 15 months.
posted by mediareport at 8:19 AM on July 24, 2007


crazy antagonistic shit going down in threads

I agree - i'm not exactly helping to diminish that myself and will try and keep the naughtyness down as much as possible.
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:33 AM on July 24, 2007


The fact that MeFi doesn't focus enough on serious political issues for you personally is not a fault; it is a feature.

Do you really think that putting words in my mouth makes some kind of a point? Nowhere have I ever written that MeFi doesn't focus enough on serious political issues.

Why do you care that there are political posts, anyway? If you don't like them, don't read them. If that's a problem for you, it's a personal one, and not one that the rest of us need to accommodate.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:42 AM on July 24, 2007


Maybe we could just have a rule that everyone who posts in political threads can only do so in lol-kitteh.

Seems to be working fine so far
posted by spiderwire at 8:53 AM on July 24, 2007


I'm not saying I'm worthy of the position

Ooh! Me! Me! I'm fair and balanced! I swear!
posted by spiderwire at 8:55 AM on July 24, 2007


"Somebody link to tubgirl."

Okay! (Warning: might be NSFW if your bosses are VERY strange.)
posted by davy at 8:56 AM on July 24, 2007


Why is this thread STILL going on? Will one of our horribly fascistic net.censors please close it? Think about the children!
posted by davy at 9:01 AM on July 24, 2007


Jess and Cortex I am so glad you are taking this seriously. What about the idea of segregating the politics, either in a newsfilter.metafilter.com site or via mandatory tagging with user options to display or ignore certain categories of posts?
posted by LarryC at 9:20 AM on July 24, 2007


And Bardic, I am still waiting for my hug. A long and manful, though completely heterosexual, hug.
posted by LarryC at 9:22 AM on July 24, 2007


A long and manful, though completely heterosexual

Someone wants to have their beefcake and eat it too...
posted by Burhanistan at 9:28 AM on July 24, 2007


Jess, have the mods even considered the possibility of bringing a politics-specific mod or two onboard for the U.S. election cycle? Someone who *does* care about the political threads that have been part of MeFi for years and are sure to appear frequently over the next year, and who can be put to work doing nothing but strictly enforcing "don't be an asshole" in political threads?

No, we haven't. It's fairly thankless being a moderator here for this sort of thing and really the only reason there are two of us now is because mathowie found two people he trusted to take care of things in his stead.

Basically, we take this stuff seriously BUT I think all three of us (I can't speak for pb) think that there are better places on the Internet for heated political discussion, think that "look at these assholes" political posts are rarely interesting even though they might be important, and tend to bring out the worst in MeFites, for whatever reason. There are great spin-off sites for things like SportsFilter, chatfilter (and other discussion) and other topics, I don't see why the politicsfilter people can't go the same route?

Will one of our horribly fascistic net.censors please close it?

And seriously, as long as (joking or not) shit like this is the "opposing" side of this issue (i.e. anything that gets deleted is censorship, I want fewer deletions, why was my comment deleted, the mods are facists for removing anything, what guideline did my post break that you deleted, &c.) it's not going to solve the problem just to be heavier on the delete button.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:39 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


@caddis: my specific issue is not that politics are present on MeFi at all, it is that people present politics as interesting/worthy of being on the front page simply because "politics is important", even when the particular thing they are pointing us all to is not new, not interesting, and has no real chance of generating a useful discussion.

The fact that it hasn't yet been posted here doesn't necessarily mean it is new; some will chime in and say "oh, if you think it's not new, you haven't been reading them!". How do you know I haven't read them already elsewhere? How is passing them along to MeFi (especially if they are just old arguments in a new article) any different from passing a worn-out internet fad off as front page material?

I have zero problem, for example, with posts like this one because while it is about Iraq, and ostensibly politically related, it is different and interesting. Contrast this to the axe-grinding posts we see (and I'm sure will see with increasing frequency, come election time) that boil down to either "LOL [party I oppose]" or "LET'S GATHER ROUND AND REHASH SOME ARGUMENTS!"

I also have a specific issue with the y2karl post that spawned this whole thing 260 odd posts ago in this thread, simply because it was goddamn enormous. Interesting or not, the front page of MeFi is not the place for a ~1,000 word rollup of articles. That kind of thing belongs on your own blog, with a link from here to there if people other than yourself find it interesting.

@Kirth Gerson: it's not a personal problem that the rest of you need not accommodate when the volume of political posts grows so great that MeFi turns into a clone of every shitty political blog in existence. Has it happened yet? No. Does that mean we shouldn't be wary of it? Absolutely not.
posted by tocts at 9:51 AM on July 24, 2007


ARBITRARUS CENSOREM!



...my banhammer is broken
posted by spiderwire at 10:01 AM on July 24, 2007


There are great spin-off sites for things like SportsFilter, chatfilter (and other discussion) and other topics, I don't see why the politicsfilter people can't go the same route?

Interesting idea.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:05 AM on July 24, 2007


The politics spinoff site exists, though for some reason it never seems to get much play: http://devoter.com/
posted by LarryC at 10:11 AM on July 24, 2007


for some reason it never seems to get much play

Not much play. The most recent comment is last Thursday - one of two complaining that the post is out-of-date. All the posts are by the same user. Not so meta.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:27 AM on July 24, 2007


Jesus, there's forty-odd posts on the front page with only three comments amongst them, wtf?

Also surprising, PoliticsFilter.com is unregistered. If I knew which registrar/host to use, I would so snap that up and fill it with pictures of Kodos and Kang.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:32 AM on July 24, 2007


I'm going to give it some attention. Maybe it is the "better place" that people keep telling me about for political discussion, but everyone's vacationing in the mountains this month.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:40 AM on July 24, 2007


Also surprising, PoliticsFilter.com is unregistered.

Too late!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:41 AM on July 24, 2007


"Firefox can't find the server at www.politicsfilter.com."
posted by davy at 11:00 AM on July 24, 2007


Status: ok
Updated Date: 24-jul-2007
Creation Date: 24-jul-2007
Expiration Date: 24-jul-2008


Give the man time to get his DNS up, davy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:03 AM on July 24, 2007


I also have a specific issue with the y2karl post that spawned this whole thing 260 odd posts ago in this thread, simply because it was goddamn enormous.Interesting or not, the front page of MeFi is not the place for a ~1,000 word rollup of articles.

Oh, nonsense. It was more like 125 word quote and a link on the front page and the rest was more inside. You had to click on it to see more. Any number of posts of late were as long or longer in word count and no one made a Meta post about them. I know I've made far longer posts on non-political topics and got compliments from the same people who bitch about get a blog or how they hate blockquotes or how long it is when it's on a topical topic. And who appointed you God of what is and is not fit for front page posts, anyway ?

Get this into your head: MeFi has never been primarily about politics.

Who said it was ? But, for the record, here are the posts for July 24, 2000. Dick Cheney--booga, booga!! Political and news events have always been topics here. They were well before I joined on Septemer 19, 2001, after reading a Salon article on websites that tracked events on September 11th of that year. Politics, the so-called war on terror, Iraq--for a few years after 9/11, all those were hotter topics then than now. I post a lot less on such topics, myself, I know that much.

As for all the compliments or criticisms made here, all, I can say, is oh, please... I don't post things because I think they are important or I think people need to see them. I post about what interests me. I am interested in any number of things. Look for yourself and see.
Boy, if I am pursuing an agenda, I would like to know what it is. World domination in 2007 ? How many kosher cheese dogs can I eat in one sitting ?

And, once again, I don't want a blog. So, do you have one, Mr. Just Joined John Q. Anonymous No Posting History ? If so, why don't you list it ? If not, why don't you get one ?
posted by y2karl at 11:42 AM on July 24, 2007


How many kosher cheese dogs can I eat in one sitting ?

I insist you put this post together.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:00 PM on July 24, 2007


It was more like 125 word quote and a link on the front page and the rest was more inside. You had to click on it to see more. Any number of posts of late were as long or longer in word count and no one made a Meta post about them.

160, but who's counting? You can't claim the "more inside" isn't part of your post. If we had a proper more inside function for MeFi -- which we don't in part because we don't want to encourage 1000 word posts -- your post would be nearly 1000 words. I defy you to find another post that's more than 500 words that isn't one of the two linkdump posts I can recall from the last five years. I see one that is close to that and it happens to be from Kirth Gerson. Huh.

As a result, these posts are attention-getting. They are so far outside of the norm of what people do here on MeFi that people notice them, flag them, talk about them in MeTa and form opinions on them. If you don't want them to attract this sort of attention, feel free to make your quotes shorter or knock off the 800 word "more insides" or branch out in your subject matter or post somewhere where this style is more mainstream. Or, keep doing what you're doing. It's not against the rules, as I have said previously. Please don't act like you don't understand where people are coming from. We go through this every six months it seems.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:01 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh no, my posting history isn't big enough. I must not have a big enough e-penis to discuss anything on a site I've been reading for a long time! Guess I'll go cry myself to sleep because my userid just isn't low enough. Why oh why must I be so tormented!

...

But seriously, y2karl, when you post a ton of "more inside" in the way you did, you basically cut off discussion. Even if it isn't what you intend, you come off as condescending, because you make it seem like you assume that nobody is actually smart enough to pull out the salient details of what you're posting without you pre-digesting it. It also comes off as you wanting to editorialize as opposed to just show people the links, and regardless of how oh so terribly lacking my posting history is, I don't think you can argue that that's not something that generally isn't kosher around here. The fact that you don't want a blog doesn't make what you're posting less blog-like.

This also doesn't change the fact that this thread isn't even 100% about your specific post; it's about the general trend of people to want to insert politics into MeFi at every opportunity. Has MeFi always had politics? Yes. Does that mean that it has to be host to every minor political update that people likely have already seen elsewhere? No.
posted by tocts at 12:04 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Has MeFi always had politics? Yes. Does that mean that it has to be host to every minor political update that people likely have already seen elsewhere? No.

Can you please lay off pretending that there's some overwhelming tide of political posts? There is no such thing going on. Nobody is posting "every minor political update that people likely have already seen elsewhere". This is the rhetorical equivalent of calling for a ban on water bottles because of some liquid explosives fantasy.

You know who else likes to answer his own made-up questions, right?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:21 PM on July 24, 2007


Or, keep doing what you're doing. It's not against the rules, as I have said previously. We go through this every six months it seems.

Why? I understand Meta is the place for this type of discussion, but when it involves:

A) iraq
B) karls posting parameters
C) random user who has "had it up to here" with this "Iraq Filter"

What is the point of allowing it to continue? The case has been made it's not against the rules, that is the administrative perspective. Meta threads are closed for being duplicated all the time. If the issue is resolved in that context can we please not allow another 300 comment clusterfuck when a 60K user has come to find they've "had enough" of karls posts?

It'd be funny, except it's stupid and horrible and a waste of time in every regard.

As a result, these posts are attention-getting. They are so far outside of the norm of what people do here on MeFi that people notice them, flag them, talk about them in MeTa and form opinions on them. If you don't want them to attract this sort of attention...

Best Rest Of The Web!

It also comes off as you wanting to editorialize as opposed to just show people the links... I don't think you can argue that that's not something that generally isn't kosher around here.

People pull selective quotes to represent a text based target link 90% of the time, quantity and quality of the selections notwithstanding.
posted by prostyle at 12:21 PM on July 24, 2007


Been here all of a month and already an expert on MeFi. meh.

As for a large more inside cutting off discussion, 144 comments, 18 users marked as favorite, I think there was a robust discussion, and people liked the post. You're embarrassing yourself noob.
posted by caddis at 12:22 PM on July 24, 2007


He's embarrassing himself only to those who take that low user number bullshit seriously.
posted by Snyder at 12:30 PM on July 24, 2007


It's not about low user numbers, it's about knowing what the hell one is talking about, and when you have so little experience that is hard.
posted by caddis at 12:35 PM on July 24, 2007


If it isn't about low user numbers, how exactly do you know how much experience I have? How do you know whether or not I've been reading the site for years without a user account, or whether I'm the reincarnation of someone who was here forever and just decided to start anew?

More to the point, considering you're the one tossing around a phrase as utterly retarded as "noob" as if it should be some sort of stinging barb, how is it that I'm the one who is embarassing himself?

If we're at the point where you can think of nothing to further your point of view besides l33t speak, I suppose we're at an impasse, and there's not a lot of purpose to me responding to you beyond this. Still, I'm having an awfully hard time seeing you as the more experienced and knowledgeable person, given that you've decided to conduct yourself like a 12 year old.
posted by tocts at 12:47 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ah - I see we're at the "what are you, 12?" stage of the discussion. Time to move on.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:58 PM on July 24, 2007


No jessamyn, I wasn't picking on you, I really do wonder why this thread is still open now that the policy and the reasons behind it are clear. What more points can be made? Do we need a 37-member flameout? Somebody (me) even linked to (a version of) tubgirl (TWICE), for cryin' out loud.

RISPERDAL ALL AROUND!
posted by davy at 1:02 PM on July 24, 2007


shorter davy: I've made a fool of myself twice, therefore you should close the thread.

it's a non-sequitur and a self-indictment rolled into one!
posted by spiderwire at 1:11 PM on July 24, 2007


But seriously, y2karl, when you post a ton of "more inside" in the way you did, you basically cut off discussion.

What disingenuous bullshit. I personally appreciate the long pullquotes—they provide a useful indication of whether I want to read the full articles—but anyone who doesn't can scroll past them. There's plenty of discussion in his threads, and it would be of higher caliber if certain users could refrain from posting "OMG another boring long y2karl post" comments. To whoever was asking way up above, this is an example of what I meant by "lies."
posted by languagehat at 1:14 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


"you basically cut off discussion" is a lie? Wow, you are stretching for that one.
posted by found missing at 1:23 PM on July 24, 2007


I don't find it at all disingenuous to say that by basically pre-populating a (very large) post with most of the interesting information from a set of articles, you run the risk of causing users who might otherwise have gotten involved in the discussion to decide to skip it. If the original poster has already hit every single interesting aspect (from that user's perspective), what more is there to discuss?

There's also the fact that by lumping so many articles together, you raise the barrier to entry for anyone who might have had the time to read, say, one or two of the articles, but not all of them. Do they wade into the discussion having only read the first two, or do they say to themselves "I probably shouldn't get into this without all the information"?

It's the difference between presenting people with a manageable framework of information to then have a discussion within, versus a big post lecturing people on a topic. Whether he intends them to or not, y2karl's posts come off as lectures when you look at them to me, and I'm fairly sure to others.

This hardly qualifies as a "lie". Point of view, sure. Opinion, absolutely. But lie? Give me a break.
posted by tocts at 1:28 PM on July 24, 2007


tocts, regardless of whether you were here before, reading for years, or what, we have only what you write to form our impression of you now.

Some new members start quietly and fold into the site over time. New members who make a name for themselves early on usually do so for one of two reasons: they either distinguish themselves by making some great, positive contributions to the site via comments or posts, or they stand out because they are loud, abrasive assholes. Since you are still fairly new, you get to pick which path you choose to earn your reputation.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:30 PM on July 24, 2007


Love is the only way.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:51 PM on July 24, 2007


by basically pre-populating a (very large) post with most of the interesting information from a set of articles, you run the risk of causing users who might otherwise have gotten involved in the discussion to decide to skip it.

The reason that this is a disingenuous claim is that 'providing interesting information' only cuts off the conversation if by conversation you mean "First!" and "another y2karl post, bah!" or some other meaningless and irrelevant blather.

Discussion is what you do after the facts are on the table. y2karl actually makes a space for a meaningful conversation with his long pull quotes.

God, what a karl-love-fest; will you people please stop making me give this guy a tongue-lathering?
posted by anotherpanacea at 1:59 PM on July 24, 2007


You can always switch it up with some high and mighty karl slammin, ap. Does wonders for the constitution.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:41 PM on July 24, 2007


tocts writes "RAWR ALL POLITICS MUST BE ON MEFI RAWR"

Nobody, no-freakin'-body, has argued this, either here or though their posting history. Maybe troutfishing of long ago, and guess what? Even more vocally liberal mefites helped drive him away, because his posts, while ideologically suited to a majority on the site, were really tedious.

And really, I'm not a big fan of this tactic, but here goes: tocts' posting history, with no FPP's. Take the plunge, man. Start finding stuff that interests you and post it. If you really want to end poli-filter, be part of a wave of excellent non-political posts.

Obviously, people have a right to an opinion regardless of whether or not they post FPP's. But I think I have a right to ask, in all sincerity, "Show me the way." Some poli-filter is really quite good -- this is demonstrable fact. Some LOLCATS filter is not -- this is also demonstrable. But to decide, all LarryC-like, that a given subject isn't fit for the blue qua given subject is moronic (nicest word I can think of for it).

LarryC, why isn't "skip it and move on" good enough for you? Why do the terrorists keep breaking into your home and forcing you to click on y2karl's Iraq posts? You need better locks on your doors I think.
posted by bardic at 2:47 PM on July 24, 2007


How many kosher cheese dogs can I eat in one sitting ?

I insist you put this post together.
posted by cortex at 12:00 PM on July 24

Don't do it karl; self-linking is just the excuse the mods are looking for.
posted by landis at 3:05 PM on July 24, 2007


"Jawthritis."
posted by bardic at 3:10 PM on July 24, 2007


bardic: I think you mistake hyberbole for real belief. My response including "RAWR ALL POLITICS MUST BE ON MEFI RAWR" was in response to Kirth painting all people who say "hey, too much politicsfilter really sucks" as just saying "yeah, we get it!" and not "understanding" the political posts. It was intended to sound at least partially as ridiculous as his own overgeneralization/exaggeration.

I've said repeatedly in this discussion that I think politics can be fine and dandy. My issue is with politics for the sake of politics. While nobody may be saying (publicly) that every single political thing on the internet has to end up on the front page of MeFi, it is undeniable that there is a contingent of mefites who want to see far more politics on the front page than there currently is.

Personally, given how badly these threads tend to go, and how infrequent it is for the original posts of such threads to be worthwhile in the first place, I'm far from excited about that prospect -- especially considering the already-beginning election cycle. It would be nice if MeFi didn't become yet another shitty political blog for the entirety of '08 (and probably into '09, because let's face it, whoever wins, the other side is going to continue the nastiness for months, if not years).

As for me posting front page links, you say you don't like the tactic, yet you decide to use it. You say that people who don't post to the front page deserve an opinion, but really no they don't. Make up your mind; you can't have it both ways.

The fact that I, and likely the majority of the people who read MeFi, don't frequently (or ever) post stuff to the front page doesn't mean that we're not reading, nor does it mean we don't care how the site continues to evolve.
posted by tocts at 4:33 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't find it at all disingenuous to say that by basically pre-populating a (very large) post with most of the interesting information from a set of articles, you run the risk of causing users who might otherwise have gotten involved in the discussion to decide to skip it

You say that like it's a bad thing.

A mefi's post's primary purpose is simply to draw attention to interesting, high-quality stuff. Discussion comes a distant second; were this not so, chatfilter would be encouraged. So, even if your claim were true, y2karl's method would be no bad thing.

if you're going to participate in the discussions, try to keep a handle on yourself

Good advice for any comment on any part of this site.
posted by flabdablet at 4:47 PM on July 24, 2007


it is undeniable that there is a contingent of mefites who want to see far more politics on the front page than there currently is

You say that like it's a bad thing.

For any kind of subject matter, it is undeniable that there is a contingent of mefites who want to see far more of it on the front page than there currently is. That's just the nature of a site with 50k+ potential contributors.
posted by flabdablet at 4:51 PM on July 24, 2007


My response including "RAWR ALL POLITICS MUST BE ON MEFI RAWR" was in response to Kirth painting all people who say "hey, too much politicsfilter really sucks" as just saying "yeah, we get it!" and not "understanding" the political posts. It was intended to sound at least partially as ridiculous as his own overgeneralization/exaggeration.

See, you're still putting words in my mouth. Here's what I wrote:
Like all the "yeah, we get it!" complainers, you seem to think the object of the politics posts is to make the simple point that Bush (or the war) sucks.
I didn't say "all people who say "hey, too much politicsfilter really sucks," I was talking about a particular subset that you seemed to fit into. Instead of saying I was wrong about you, and explaining why, you come back with that incoherent bleat. I guess you are either unwilling or unable to respond to what people are actually saying to you.

Have a nice life.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:59 PM on July 24, 2007


A mefi's post's primary purpose is simply to draw attention to interesting, high-quality stuff. Discussion comes a distant second; were this not so, chatfilter would be encouraged.

I think you're fundamentally confusing the blue & the green here.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:09 PM on July 24, 2007


Is it too early for a flameout? I don't think I sense enough passion in this one.
posted by caddis at 5:10 PM on July 24, 2007


Hyperbole is what the img tag was for. In plain text, many people are going to have trouble distinguishing an essentially anonymous net commenter's hyperbole from real belief.

People who themselves habitually employ hyperbole should probably think twice about (a) commenting at all in politics threads (b) complaining when the politics threads go all to shit.

Politics matters. And one of politics' defining features is that it is composed entirely out of talk. Talking about politics is politics, and it has real political consequences.

Taking a dump - even a ha ha look at me I'm clearly being funny dump - in a politics thread, is tantamount to a vote for shitty political discussion and, because politics is talk, a vote for shitty politics in the wider world. It really does all add up.

I made the point earlier that mefi is one of the very few sites that maintains any semblance of thoughtfulness in political threads. That makes it disproportionately, and generally positively, influential. It would be a shame to lose the potential for good in that, either by some kind of blanket ban on political discussion, or by the devolution of mefi politics into monkey poo-flinging contests.

It seems to me like Matt, Jessamyn and Josh have got the balance about right, given the limited time available; it further seems to me that making their job easier by thinking a little harder before hitting Post Comment, especially in politics threads, is something we could all do to benefit each other.

BASH SMASH RAUGGHHHR can be achieved without turning up the temperature of a discussion with a simple click on the Flag link. Perhaps BASH SMASH RAUGGHHHR could be a new flagging category (as could "suspected spammer", come to that).

On preview:

I think you're fundamentally confusing the blue & the green here

That's entirely possible - I do spend far more time on green than blue - but I do seem to recall that chatfilter was frowned on around here before the green even existed.
posted by flabdablet at 5:14 PM on July 24, 2007


I do seem to recall that chatfilter was frowned on around here before the green even existed.

Hm, probably true. It's a credit, I think, to the standards police that chatfilter on the blue is so rare that I forgot about it. They would be the kinds of posts that resemble blog entries: "Here are some links about a topic. Here is what I think; what do you think?".
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:31 PM on July 24, 2007


All right, I have had it with the MeFi left-wing echo chamber. I'm perfectly capable of clicking over to thousands of politics sites on the internet, thank you! Will someone please clean all these Alberto Gonzales threads off the front page?!


Oh, wait. Nevermind.
posted by spiderwire at 6:35 PM on July 24, 2007


Me: Jess, have the mods even considered the possibility of bringing a politics-specific mod or two onboard for the U.S. election cycle?...

Jessamyn: No, we haven't.

I think that's a shame. You should at least consider it. Again, political posts and the cleanup they require aren't going anywhere else over the next 15 months. You know that's true. Unless you're willing to start deleting all political posts, your only option is to start aggressively pruning asshole behavior in political threads. Why not make your lives easier and add a focused mod or two to help with that task?

Just consider it.

I think all three of us (I can't speak for pb) think that there are better places on the Internet for heated political discussion

Again, I think this is a lost opportunity for MeFi. The intelligent, engaged user base is here already, and one or two "politicsfilter" mods heavy on the delete button for asshole behavior (with a clear statement on the MeTa posting page that "why was my politicsfilter comment deleted?" MeTa posts will be deleted as well) is well worth a try, if only to relieve the obvious burden on the mods who don't want to deal with that stuff. And while I know the moronic "fascist moderators!" stuff must sting a bit, allowing it to set policy seems like an overreaction.
posted by mediareport at 6:52 PM on July 24, 2007


I think you're fundamentally confusing the blue & the green here.

No, Matt has said more than once that the quality of the post is what counts, that a crappy post is not redeemed by an interesting discussion.
posted by LarryC at 7:16 PM on July 24, 2007


My issue is with politics for the sake of politics.

As opposed to LOLCATS for the sake of moral and aesthetic edification?

Honestly, you're making a series of different arguments about the problems with politics-filter, but certainly not a single coherent one. Yes, it can be bad, but it can also be good. Hence, the mods are left to subjectively zapping the bad ones, and no matter how much dirt you kick up, they're never going to put a moratorium in place a priori on Iraq/Bush/Republican-filter.

The fact that I, and likely the majority of the people who read MeFi, don't frequently (or ever) post stuff to the front page doesn't mean that we're not reading, nor does it mean we don't care how the site continues to evolve.

I agree completely, and I hope I made that clear. Then again, it certainly wouldn't hurt.

As for poli-filter gone sour, you'll notice that it isn't y2karl who craps in his own threads. The most egregious examples of bad behavior come from people who frankly lack the faculty to contribute or debate in a productive manner (Rockhopper, we hardly knew ya).

Fact is, Iraq/Bush/Politics-filter is held to a higher standard than any other potential subject. And yet, that's still not good enough for a few folks who lack the a) self-control to just skip those threads and/or b) to common courtesy to realize that they shouldn't try to impose their sense of taste on the rest of us.
posted by bardic at 8:05 PM on July 24, 2007


b) to common courtesy to realize that they shouldn't try to impose their sense of taste on the rest of us.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA
posted by Stan Chin at 8:17 PM on July 24, 2007


As for poli-filter gone sour, you'll notice that it isn't y2karl who craps in his own threads. The most egregious examples of bad behavior come from people who frankly lack the faculty to contribute or debate in a productive manner (Rockhopper, we hardly knew ya).

what bardic said. you may also notice the horrible toll of destruction over the last few days:
-approx. 3 politics-related posts on the front page (Sergeant-at-arms, "IraqFilter," exec privilege claims)
-1 of those 3 made the rounds of the political blogs, and not much at that
-0 of the 3 made the major news outlets
-1 called out in 325+ comment thread, 1 called out in other huge MeTa thread
-0 posts on the Democratic debates
-0 posts on Rove's Hatch Act act
-0 posts on Gonzalez' testimony

clearly we must fight the politicsfilter menace at every turn or we risk being overwhelmed.
posted by spiderwire at 8:20 PM on July 24, 2007


Stan Chin, you could also use some better locks on your door. I mean, it was so easy to break in and force you to look at political posts you didn't want to.

IS THERE NO ONE WHO CAN STOP ME BEFORE I STRIKE AGAIN?
posted by bardic at 8:31 PM on July 24, 2007


Dude, how long have you been here? You started in 2004? What I don't understand, is how anyone, who has been here for even a few months hasn't seen this same discussion over and over again.

Bitching about news/politics filter has been a staple of Metatalk since its inception. Now, maybe you have a different perspective, but my opinion is that before Matt gave admin duties to cortex and jessamyn, politicsfilter ran a lot more rampant than it does today because Matt didn't have the diligence.

And it was fucking terrible. It really was. There is no possible way that I can prove in concrete numbers why it was terrible, but there was a horrible mood about the place. Do you want to know how bad it was? People were saying that We ran out of cool things on the internet, so turning to politics was okay. Really.

So your comment...

b) to common courtesy to realize that they shouldn't try to impose their sense of taste on the rest of us.

Is hilarious to me, because it's exactly why there will be another MeTa post about this in a month. The politics folks will never budge from their righteous mission. And it's why the mods will always thanklessly fight against the most asinine and poisonous members of Metafilter. So once again,

BAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH.
posted by Stan Chin at 8:44 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]




Stan Chin, you're not making much sense. You're saying that poli-filter used to poison the place, then fail to give even one example of where and when. As others have noted, political threads have always been a part of the fabric here. So c'mon, if you're going to make the asinine "mefi was a land of magical printer-cats and Kottke links before dirty ol' politics arrived," you'd be dead wrong, yet again, but at least try to make that point.

Beyond that, I think we agree on some things -- these threads are really tired and yet, it being metatalk, there's no crime in people re-hashing very old debates about things that aren't going to change (because I assume they would have by now, but there's nothing in this thread, for or against politics filter, that's new to anyone who pays attention around here).
posted by bardic at 9:06 PM on July 24, 2007


And it's why the mods will always thanklessly fight against the most asinine and poisonous members of Metafilter.

Oh, and I'm curious -- would you include y2karl in this category you made up? Because frankly, people would miss him a lot more if he left than they would you.
posted by bardic at 9:09 PM on July 24, 2007


I'm never going to try to make that point to you, because I know from experience that it's futile, and you're going to bring up some infinite counterargument that goes nowhere. Because I know deep down that you really don't give a shit. You're in it for the argument. It's that kind of shit that's so bad, because it never stops and nothing ever changes.

there's no crime in people re-hashing very old debates about things that aren't going to change

It is a crime, because it means we're all morons. I'm done with this particular thread. Maybe we'll continue in the next one that comes up next week. See you then.
posted by Stan Chin at 9:13 PM on July 24, 2007


Because frankly, people would miss him a lot more if he left than they would you.

Hey wait, I'm people and I'd miss them both equally!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:13 PM on July 24, 2007


FUCK all that politics shit, what we need is more LOL babies.
BAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Man, that is the best o' the web for sure. Just repeat this twenty times a day and MeFi will be the best site on the internets. ;)
posted by caddis at 9:15 PM on July 24, 2007


Dude, how long have you been here? You started in 2004? What I don't understand, is how anyone, who has been here for even a few months hasn't seen this same discussion over and over again.

You complain about old and tired arguments and you try to play the "how long have you been here?" card in the same breath? That's an astonishing display of bravado, there.

OK, I'll bite. I've been here longer than you, and you're full of shit. Now what?

And it was fucking terrible. It really was. There is no possible way that I can prove in concrete numbers why it was terrible, but there was a horrible mood about the place. Do you want to know how bad it was? People were saying that We ran out of cool things on the internet, so turning to politics was okay. Really.

Do you even know what this thread is about? Look at the title. The thread's argument is "too much politicsfilter." Bardic's saying that's an overstatement. You're tacitly admitting that this is less of a problem now than it was. I just gave a rundown of just how bad this problem is right now (it's not). Those latter 3 points don't conflict. So WTF is your point? Even if you were right that "PoliticsFilter" was out of control 3 years ago, that's not germane to the discussion.

Are you just here to say that these discussions follow the same pattern and yet the sky isn't falling? Because that's bardic's argument. So does that mean you're just being a dick? Sure looks like it. But that certainly wouldn't be anything new, either, now would it?
posted by spiderwire at 9:19 PM on July 24, 2007


I'm never going to try to make that point to you

I'd rather you tried to make it to anybody else here, including the old-timers up-thread who have indicated that political posts are nothing new here. (And not to open up another can of worms, but 9/11 brought in a lot of new folks who, whether you like it or not, think one of the strengths of this site is that it can be, although certainly isn't always, very informative, helpful, and poignant regarding breaking news. Maybe this was a negative turn for you and others, but it wasn't for the majority of folks here. But again, that's more your problem than anybody else's.)

You're in it for the argument. It's that kind of shit that's so bad, because it never stops and nothing ever changes.

I do like to argue, this being the intarweb and all. But I think I've been pretty consistent in arguing, yet again, that posts should be zapped if they suck, period, not if they touch on certain subjects that might chafe our delicate ears and eyeballs.

It is a crime, because it means we're all morons.

Not going to argue with that one.
posted by bardic at 9:23 PM on July 24, 2007


So does that mean you're just being a dick? Sure looks like it. But that certainly wouldn't be anything new, either, now would it?

This is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind when I mentioned thinking twice before clicking Post Comment. Simply leaving it out would have made your point more strongly, and not turned up the temperature in here.
posted by flabdablet at 9:51 PM on July 24, 2007


From reading this thread I have learned that the only kinds of posts on Metafilter are Iraqfilter and LOLcats and that we have to choose between them right now.
posted by LarryC at 10:08 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Someone went through the effort of finding and pointing this out to me, so I feel obligated here:

Metatalk from September 7, 2002:

I say screw 'em all. I'm on a personal quest to combat the endless political threads, where the same people discuss the same thing that they said yesterday, ad infinitum. Corporations are bad. Globalism is bad. Bush is an idiot. Ashcroft is an idiot. Colin Powell is not an idiot but he works for idiots. The war on drugs is bad. The U.S. is bad. Israel and Palestine are both bad. Pop music is bad. War with anyone is bad. Homeland security is bad. Loss of personal freedoms is bad. The world is going to hell in a handbasket. The world is going to hell in a handbasket. The world is going to hell in a handbasket.

It'd be fine if each of these posts were made, maybe biweekly, or even weekly. Admittedly, I enjoy the discussion in those threads sometimes. Many people enjoy being informed by these posts. I don't blame you, it's important stuff. However, the way I see it, Metafilter has these posts everyday. Sometimes twice a day.

The more dumb unimportant nonpolitical links the better I say. More links about Showbiz Pizza to come from me. The more newbies posting the better, this place needs a breath of fresh air. What happened to all the unique links on the web? They're still there.

I'm not trying to debate the whole newsfilter concept again (Metafilter IS my news), but honestly, can we get some new news?
posted by Stan Chin at 10:51 AM on September 7



Stan Chin: I'm on a personal quest to combat the endless political threads

Thats about the worst way to use metafilter. No one should be on a 'quest' to change the entire community. Every so often we get someone like you ready to shake our cages and its always been messy and/or ineffective. People like posting about the drug war, national politics, etc and nothing you can do will stop that. This is a community, not stan chin's weblog.

[edit]

posted by skallas at 3:20 PM on September 7



Thats about the worst way to use metafilter. No one should be on a 'quest' to change the entire community.

Eh, I'm gonna try anyway. I think one person could make it a little better place... or worse like a certain popular Metatalk person.
posted by Stan Chin at 3:37 PM on September 7

++++++++++++

So, five years later, who was right, Skallas or Me? I think we all lost.
posted by Stan Chin at 10:20 PM on July 24, 2007


Oh, and bardic, here's an example randomly pulled out the Metatalk hat from April 16, 2002: Where tamim details and links to 8 posts about the middle east posted within 2 days.

I maintain, that things used to be much much worse. My efforts are only to prevent this from happening again. I believe it's a slippery slope that we've taken the last 5 years to climb out of. I think it's poisonous. Just look at the rest of that thread, we're stuck in reruns.
posted by Stan Chin at 10:50 PM on July 24, 2007


This is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind when I mentioned thinking twice before clicking Post Comment. Simply leaving it out would have made your point more strongly, and not turned up the temperature in here.

No, I thought about it and left it in. Why?

Well, first, he clearly didn't read the thread -- bardic was right: his argument made no sense, and at best didn't even really constitute a disagreement. Furthermore, he tried to impugn bardic's with cheap character attacks 4 or 5 times, which is just -- pardon me -- fucking inexcusable coming from someone who can't even be bothered to read the whole thread and get his position straight before coming in and shitting on everyone.

And then he has the audacity to claim that bardic is the one who argues for the sake of arguing?

Man, I would care less if his arguments were wrong, 'cause that would just make him an idiot. I care more that his argument don't even make sense as anything but flamebait, and when you jump into a 300-comment thread and start sliming the first person you see, then yes, you are a dick, and I will call you out on it.

And yes, Stan Chin has been a dick here for a long time, so I think that, too, is especially appropriate to point out when he's both (a) throwing his seniority in another member's face, which is usually considered a pathetic tactic when they've both been here for years, (and more pathetic in that bardic's a much more useful contributor to the site and (b) complaining about the predictability of the site) -- I'm saying that if there's one thing that is predictable, it's that Stan Chin is a dick in MeTa, so maybe -- by the terms of his own argument -- he should the beam from his own eye before running through a thread leaving a trail of shit on the floor.
posted by spiderwire at 10:50 PM on July 24, 2007


the only kinds of posts on Metafilter are Iraqfilter and LOLcats and that we have to choose between them right now.

No. We don't have to choose, oh master of the false dilemma. If you're going to make a semi-decent joke about my ranting, at least get the context right. Politics-filter does not take away from possible silly and/or serious non-political filter. A month of posts on Picasso, paleolithic cave art, and possible cures for cancer would not make a well-constructed political post inherently bad. It's not a zero-sum game.
posted by bardic at 10:56 PM on July 24, 2007


Dude, I've been around way longer than any of you n3wb b4st4rdz (yes, I'm making a joke about the 'seniority' thing, A JOKE THAT SHOULD SCRAPE AT YOUR VERY SOUL), and I don't recall ever seeing Stan Chin be a dick.

Carry on.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:56 PM on July 24, 2007


I don't recall ever seeing Stan Chin be a dick.

Besides this thread? With a few notable exceptions, I might agree: he's more of the condescending type. I am, on the other hand, malicious to the core.
posted by spiderwire at 11:14 PM on July 24, 2007


No, this is being a dick:

OK, I'll bite. I've been here longer than you, and you're full of shit.

I always have had a much lower user ID than you do. Bitch.

*Gives Stavros a <3k club high five*
posted by stanchin at 11:30 PM on July 24, 2007


So I have gone from moron to master of the false dilemma. That is an improvement right? I feel Mr. Hugs coming down the hall...
posted by LarryC at 11:35 PM on July 24, 2007


Damn, I forgot about Grandpa stanchin.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:36 PM on July 24, 2007


Stan Chin writes I maintain, that things used to be much much worse.

Yeah, um, so what the hell are you on about then?

Political posts are more highly scrutinized than any other type now. Slippery slope? We have three mods now instead of one, each of whom has pretty much voiced that the standard is higher for such FPP's.
posted by bardic at 11:47 PM on July 24, 2007


LarryC, I said your comment was moronic, not you.

Hugs!
posted by bardic at 11:55 PM on July 24, 2007


I said:

Now, maybe you have a different perspective, but my opinion is that before Matt gave admin duties to cortex and jessamyn, politicsfilter ran a lot more rampant than it does today because Matt didn't have the diligence.

Then you said:

You're saying that poli-filter used to poison the place, then fail to give even one example of where and when.

Then I said:

Oh, and bardic, here's an example randomly pulled out the Metatalk hat from April 16, 2002: Where tamim details and links to 8 posts about the middle east posted within 2 days.


And then inbetween that spiderwire completely misinterpreted my "You're from 2004" comment as "ha ha! Newbie!" which is so farfetched that I thought he was joking.

This is why I think these conversations are insane.
posted by Stan Chin at 11:57 PM on July 24, 2007


I care more that his argument don't even make sense as anything but flamebait

My point is that flamebait is bait best not taken, especially in a political (or metapolitical) thread.

There's no point arguing with idiots; they just drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience. The only way to win is not to play. Then, everybody wins except the idiots.
posted by flabdablet at 12:05 AM on July 25, 2007


And JUST to be sure before I call it a night, my point (specifically to bardic, whatever spiderwire) IS... I completely understand your position that nowadays political posts are controlled and harmless. However, my personal longterm experience (Note PERSONAL), is that most of all non Day-of-9/11 political posts are poisonous viruses that spread and destroy the chill atmosphere to the detriment of the community.

For the last 8 years, there has been a battle against politics/news posts on Metafilter. It is such a controlled situation today because of all the pain in those 8 years. Yet even today, with 3 mods enforcing, they still cause SHITSTORMS.

I think that the battle must continue. Others believe that it's time for mercy. I think that if MeFi let up then we'll be back to a shittier Metafilter. That's all. I'm outie.
posted by Stan Chin at 12:28 AM on July 25, 2007


For the last 8 years, there has been a battle against politics/news posts on Metafilter. It is such a controlled situation today because of all the pain in those 8 years. Yet even today, with 3 mods enforcing, they still cause SHITSTORMS.

Not in virtue of the post being political, but in virtue of self-appointed deputy-dogs who crap in a thread, giving it more attention than it deserves, rather than just flagging it and moving on.

So you've pretty much painted yourself into a corner Stan Chin -- whining about politics-filter really bothers you, and you seem a little ashamed that you came down to my level to do so. And yet, you leave on a martial note that the "battle" must continue ( a "battle" against your fellow mefites, many of whom post political FPPs in addition to art/music/science ones).

So it sucks to be you, because that's a very complicated line you plan to walk. Cya next metatalk thread though.
posted by bardic at 1:20 AM on July 25, 2007


@bardic: Not in virtue of the post being political, but in virtue of self-appointed deputy-dogs who crap in a thread, giving it more attention than it deserves, rather than just flagging it and moving on.

Well, therein lies the problem: does it matter if the problem is that the original post sucks (and sometimes it does, let's be honest here), or if it's just that people can't discuss politics without being asshats? Either way, we still end up with the same shitstorm, and either way, it's bad for MeFi.

Like it or not, MeFi's mods are very careful about giving people time outs or bans. Rarely (if ever) have we seen someone just outright banned, unless we're talking about a completely obvious self linker. Typically, the mods go through a series of deletions, emails to talk to the person, discussion with them, etc, until finally they decide "ok, I'm going to give this person a timeout".

On the one hand, this makes MeFi's mod crew less overbearing than that which you'd find on a lot of sites on the internet (regardless of how much some people would like to whine and claim they're the gestapo). On the other hand, it means that oftentimes, they aren't going to give someone a timeout or a ban quickly enough to stop them from completely ruining a thread, especially if we're talking about more than one offender, which is pretty common.

So, the only way to really reign in the politicsfilter posts, and make the discussions unlikely to turn out horribly on average, seems to be to change the fundamental tone of the moderaton on MeFi. And really, given how much people already bitch when an obviously shitty post gets deleted, how much more vile do you think metatalk will get when we're talking about actual timeouts and bans?

More importantly, though, is it really worth the unavoidable change in the culture that would result from a heavier hand of moderation, just so we can have one more place on the internet for people to bitch about politics?
posted by tocts at 4:47 AM on July 25, 2007


"@bardic" - huh? are you sending him an email or something?

Rather than reign in the politicsfilter, why not reign in the uboobery? I'll take a y2karl post over this dreck any day. Instead of complaining about one type of post, which by the way an awful lot of people like, it might be better to focus the ire on bad posts of all stripes. Of course, the best way to get good posts on the blue is to make one yourself. You might try more posting and less bitching.
posted by caddis at 5:02 AM on July 25, 2007


And then inbetween that spiderwire completely misinterpreted my "You're from 2004" comment as "ha ha! Newbie!" which is so farfetched that I thought he was joking.

I took it as a stupid comment. I think those sorts of comments are always stupid, and though you profess to think the same, you then immediately turn around with stupid bullshit like,

I always have had a much lower user ID than you do. Bitch.

Ahh, I'm so very torn; I could point out that I was lurking here throughout 2000, but this conversation never should have started in the first place (again, due to you being a dick and accusing bardic of ignorance), so I'm not chasing down that particular rabbithole any longer. You were a dick for bringing it up and you're a dick to continue bringing it up, and that's the end of the story, regardless of whether you project your dickishness onto me or anyone else.

Amazingly, you attribute to me the same mistake you're now making -- yet I was well aware that the point of your comment was to argue that "before you were here, things were much worse," to which I replied, "Well, I was here too, and no, it really wasn't that bad." Hence, my opinion: that you are full of shit. You have always been pompous and condescending, and your tone has grown considerably more cantankerous as well. This thread is merely the latest example of your (relative) descent into babbling idiocy.

Hopefully, I can now leave this thread as well, now that we've all decided on the same thing most of us said a few comments ago. In the future, please read the thread before you needlessly crap on it, hm?
posted by spiderwire at 7:39 AM on July 25, 2007


I don't recall ever seeing Stan Chin be a dick.

I know where you're coming from, but he's being a massive dick in this thread, so that may not be the most relevant comment.
posted by languagehat at 9:18 AM on July 25, 2007


What disingenuous bullshit. I personally appreciate the long pullquotes—they provide a useful indication of whether I want to read the full articles—but anyone who doesn't can scroll past them. There's plenty of discussion in his threads, and it would be of higher caliber if certain users could refrain from posting "OMG another boring long y2karl post" comments. To whoever was asking way up above, this is an example of what I meant by "lies."
posted by languagehat


That's not a lie, that's a difference of opinion. As for "plenty of discussion" we must be reading different threads. Discussion is great with multiply view points and insightful opinions. Every y2karl post discussion is completely predictable.

1. Someone will say "surely this..." (never get enough of that).
2. Someone will wish the entire administration death.
3. Call for impeachment.
4. Random troll trying to start shit and instead of being ignored he's jumped by everyone (exactly as he wishes).

It's the same crap, different day. Nothing changes. As much as I wish most of the political posts would vanish, I'll take a y2karl post over the resulting discussion any day.

bardic, I haven't been sending you any emails. Anyone sending you emails under my name is a scumbag, But it's not me. I was going to send this message to you via email but you removed you site from your profile.
posted by puke & cry


You're wasting your time. All over the internet, not just here, the biggest assholes are the one's that hide behind anonymity. There are exceptions, but for the most part when someone is consistently a complete dick you'll find he's too chicken shit to give any indication of who he is beyond a screen name. They're cowards who don't have the balls to stand behind what they say. Not worth the time.

I could point out that I was lurking here throughout 2000, but this conversation never should have started in the first place
posted by spiderwire


I agree that the whole user name argument is lame, but you did back up my theory that no one ever just finds metafilter. Everyone has been here since day one and just put off signing up. Of course, that's not likely, but I believe you spiderwire *wink*.

And yes, Stan Chin has been a dick here for a long time
posted by spiderwire

he's being a massive dick in this thread, so that may not be the most relevant comment.
posted by languagehat


Oh please. Stan Chin wasn't the one who intentionally used a members other nic just to be an dick. I guess it's easy to ignore the actual asshole if he's on your side.
posted by justgary at 10:14 AM on July 25, 2007


The premise that issue-oriented threads are just lolrepublicans or lolbush or drumbeating is not a fair way to portray the best of these posts. OK, some may be just that - well trash those, but this one is not a case in point. Just the way some members find the best art links, the best quirky links, or the best tech links, y2karl and some other members find and share the creme de la creme of the issue-oriented links - usually somewhat off the beaten path material.

justgary, you and others who say there is nothing of value and nothing but repition or shitstorms in these threads - or this one specifically - are wrong. In this Iraq thread, the only shitstorm came from rockhopper trolling and some people rising to the bait. As for substance, in addition to my being pointed to several articles that I probably would not have found myself in the original post, the following were just some of the links, civil discussions, or points raised in thread:
  • a discussion and links about soft partitioning
  • a discussion about what a pullout would look like in terms of this war and the Viet Nam experience
  • a discussion about the effectiveness of air strikes as a tactic against insurgencies
  • A short documentary by Guardian's filmmaker Sean Smith who spent two months embedded with US troops in Baghdad and Anbar province
  • A Phillip Larkin poem I had never read
  • a civil debate about whether or not the "Pottery Barn rule" should be followed
  • a link to a British article about how American munitions manufacturers cannot keep up with demand (250,000 bullets per insurgent) and how we are now importing bullets from Israel
  • an article about the Madison Avenue marketing techniques used to sell the war
  • a discussion of what liberal and conservative mean in the context of current events
  • articles about how other coalition members are patriating (is that a word?) Iraqis who they employed to protect them
This is just a cursory look. The thread amassed 18 favorites and 147 largely civil comments. I realize that the overwhelming antiwar bias on mefi may result in threads that are salt in the wounds of those who disagree, but that is the tenor of the country now, not just mefi. To say these threads have nothing but repetition is wrong. While some themes may be repeated, in the best posts, there is always new information and new links, often to material that is not in the mainstream. I could say that Apple, Harry Potter, or lolcat links are repetitious to me, but so what? Others enjoy them and find value.

Mefi has always been an oleo of links, a smorgasbord - I don't like pickled herring, so I skip it, but I would never advocate narrowing the menu choices available to others. However, I think we could all agree that enforcing a "best of" policy should be operational for both issues oriented and all other variety of posts. That, and less tolerance for trolls. Jess removed one (thank you) and the thread proceeded most civilly.
posted by madamjujujive at 12:02 PM on July 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


Mefi has always been an oleo of links, a smorgasbord - I don't like pickled herring, so I skip it, but I would never advocate narrowing the menu choices available to others

Ya-a-a-a, as long as this thread keeps persisting in my recent comments, I may keep dropping in to say things. I really like the MeFi smorgasbord. I like a rich, diverse ecology with endless species of colorful flora to, ah, fawn over.

But anybody who's been around the block a few times has very likely seen an enjoyable, diverse, well-rounded forum become dominated by politics. It's a very consuming subject. Yeah? You can provide the appropriate agricultural analogies. So while there are maybe some few people (and visible ones) that are making too much "No politics! No Iraq! Non! Nicht! Нет!" noise, there are also a lot of folks who just want to maintain a... certain level of vigilance so that it doesn't get too thick. Which I think it will do, if people don't keep piping up when they think enough's inching too close to enough.

That's what self-policing's about, and I miss having that phrase prominently on the site.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:19 PM on July 25, 2007


That rather peculiar construction at the beginning there is just a noise of reticence and resignation that often precedes my beginning a communique of more than a sentence or so in real life; I'm not sure why I feel compelled to translate those little verbal mannerisms into text, but there it is.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:22 PM on July 25, 2007


If you're worried about politics posts becoming too thick and dominating the site, you do know what to do, don't you? Yes, I see that you do.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:42 PM on July 25, 2007


I hate that argument, though. Sometimes you don't have anything great to post, and the best example you can set - that is, not posting anything - is invisible, or at least unlikely to be noticed & considered. Or to put it another way, you're a fool if you think that shouting louder now, and incessantly, is the only way to make sure you can be heard tomorrow.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:45 PM on July 25, 2007


a... certain level of vigilance so that it doesn't get too thick.

I am in total agreement on this matter, Wolfdog. Also, on the not needing to post matter to be a member in good standing. I simply ascribe to a philosophy that whatever the level of participation, we should strive to add rather than detract.

And speaking of adding, thanks for that link, Kirth Girson - there are so many excellent posts there that I missed.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:09 PM on July 25, 2007




I agree that there are a lot of good posts there, madam. (If I didn't think so, I wouldn't have included the link.)

Wolfdog, I don't know what you're referring to with "shouting louder now, and incessantly." Can you explain?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:17 PM on July 25, 2007


I just don't like the idea that posting more stuff myself is the only way I should be allowed to shape the site.

By far the most instructive thing about my posting history is the enormous number of things I decided not to post. And while I appreciate the compliments, a look at my post history makes me think I could have pared down even more. But nobody can learn anything about discretion from the things I don't post, so occasionally I'm going to be in MeTa saying "Maybe don't post so much like that."

Maybe a better analogy would have been this: no matter how many nice fruits and flowers and veggies I plant, I can't plant so many it will excuse me from doing occasional weeding to protect them.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:33 PM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


OK, sure, and restraint is good. I guess we're not seeing the same magnitude of political posting, maybe because we feel differently about politics.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:37 PM on July 25, 2007


Well, by the same token I'm not frothing at the mouth asking for PoliFi to go away; I've never started a thread to that effect and rarely voice an opinion on it all. Sometimes, though, I feel compelled to chip in a little bit in support of peoples' rights to do so when it's getting too close to the line for them. Anyone who does pipe up about it is very likely going to get a big dose of the "If you don't like it, just scroll past it" and "If you don't like it, post something better" arguments. Those are bad arguments, but all too common, and I don't like letting them go without some refutation.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:45 PM on July 25, 2007


Because frankly, people would miss him a lot more if he left than they would you.

Nobody here—excepting, weirdly, Miguel—has much of this sort of impact. Y2karl was completely gone one time I recall for almost two months, or something like that—and this was back when he commented a lot—and I remember observing that few people noticed. This observance wasn't borne from malice—this was back before y2karl and I had our big falling-out and I knew he was gone because I was aware of his personal situation from some email we had exchanged.

The point is that even the very most visible mefites with the greatest number of fans of their posts really aren't missed at all by the majority of mefites when they leave.

That's just the way it is and I think it'd do a number of people a whole hell of a lot of good to become aware that they “matter” to MetaFilter a lot less than they think.

Which brings me specifically to the subject of this thread. My feud with y2karl is so long past that I have zero sense of being at odds with him. So what I'm about to say is mostly an objective observation that is, nevertheless, slightly tinged with that old conflict but more importantly motivated by the same annoyance that it's always been.

I think that y2karl simply doesn't have a strong enough ethic of putting the community ahead of himself in his decision to post and in his composition of his posts. No more and no less than any other average mefite, he doesn't intend harm. Nevertheless, his posts are opportunities to be on his soapbox, they are about what interests him, as he has said in this thread. He's tone-deaf to his answer to GYOBFW when he says, "But I don't want my own blog". When jessamyn writes, gently, that he treats MetaFilter like his own blog, even though he does it well, he just doesn't "get" that this is a very legitimate criticism.

Miguel didn't, either.

And both have fan bases, and that's part of why neither one really understands what they're doing wrong.

As far as y2karl is specifically concerned, I think that if he grokked this one, single idea, and either modulated his posts to MeFi accordingly or, better yet, started his own blog (which would, I predict, be quite popular), absolutely no one would ever have a bad thing to say about him ever again.

One thing that I resent in these arguments is when the “well, why don't you actually post stuff you think is worth posting, then” argument is pulled out of the bag. The thing is, though, is that if (like me) one feels that the threshhold for quality of posts are very high, and if (like me) one feels that other people are posting too many things that don't meet that threshold, then by definition that person is going to feel that there's not that many things worth posting and they won't post very much.

Frankly, y2karl's posts, though interesting in their own right, are not that difficult to post. It boggles my mind that people would say that almost without exception they've not seen his stuff elsewhere. Mostly, y2karl posts content from the MSM or stuff that is sourced one step away from the MSM. He's not finding gems from unaffiliated developing world newspapers here, folks. Any number of us could easily be posting the stuff y2karl is posting. The reason most of us are not is because either we don't think it meets the standard, or we think it meets the standard but we're not motivated.

This is completely in contrast to, say, matteo's culture posts which truly are either obscure finds or well researched posts on a topic that very few of us, if any, would have stumbled upon on our own. For all that y2karl's and matteo's politics are the same, and for all that matteo and I hate each other passionately, the truth of the matter is that matteo in his culture posts is truly offering something rare to the community that is valuable to us because of it. Y2karl with his Iraq (and similar) posts, as well as other people like him, are not.

Unless you're some some weird person working in the Library of Congress or somewhere who has mystical powers who, with a mere flick of the wrist, to ferret out fascinating stuff that no one else has heard of, then if it's easy to come up with a post to MetaFilter, if you have to restrain yourself because people and/or the admins have complained that you're posting too often, then that's a signal that your posts really aren't that valuable and most of them probably don't merit being posted.

I could post every day on politics and science and most of what I posted would be stuff that the majority of mefites had not heard of. That wouldn't mean it was necessarily interesting to enough people to warrant it. No doubt, over time, I'd develop a fan base. Obviously, it'd be made up of people who were interested in those two topics and who didn't come across that information elsewhere. Nevertheless, I just don't believe that that would be good enough.

One of the arguments above is that because there's a number of people favoriting y2karl's posts then all the flags shouldn't be counted against him in isolation. But that's a fallacy. Because the fact of the matter is that the test should simply be posts that get lots of favorites and hardly any flags. If people are complaining at all, that's a sign there's a problem. It doesn't really matter that there are also people that favoriting. Sure, you can't be everything to everyone and no controversy makes for pablum. I'm not advocating that extreme. But if it's a high number in both columns, I think that's a very strong argument for a problem and not that it's a wash.

All that said, I think y2karl is a good person and that he writes and makes his posts with good intentions and that they are, in isolation, worth reading on their own merits. And, of course, i deeply agree that more of the same of any subject, but especially politics for the reasons that the admins have elaborated, are a bad thing. But that these topics are not bad inherently. There should always be room for good political posts.

Finally, I think there's something intentionally (for some) and unintentionally (for others) very dishonest about the whole “if you don't like it, don't read it” argument. Some of the people making that argument have argued against YouTube posts. I doubt that no more than very few of them would advocate for an entirely unrestricted posting criteria. It isn't simply a matter of reading what you like and ignoring what you don't like. This is a community site and Matt designed it, and keeps it, in such a way that we're forced to deal with each other and deal with the site as a whole, not in little microcommunities. Objecting to political content posts for whatever reason is as valid as objecting to YouTube posts for whatever reason, or anything else. “Just ignore it” is not a valid argument. If it were, then "just ignore rockhopper" would also be a valid argument. People have different ideas about what the standards should be. That's fine. It's not fine to assert that someone with whom you disagree has no right to assert what the standards should be. As a member of this community, whether since 1999 or yesterday, we each have that right.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:01 PM on July 25, 2007


Dude, I've been around way longer than any of you n3wb b4st4rdz (yes, I'm making a joke about the 'seniority' thing, A JOKE THAT SHOULD SCRAPE AT YOUR VERY SOUL), and I don't recall ever seeing Stan Chin be a dick.

Stan Chin was given a gold star for his undickishness, but he isn't enough of a dick to wear it.
posted by timeistight at 2:12 PM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


EB, with all due respect, I think you hold y2karl to a higher standard than you would were he any other J. Random MeFite. There are many, many links on MeFi every day that fail every single one of the criteria you mention (how hard to research; how topical; etc.), and even if they do merit complaints, look at the length of this thread. It's ridiculous. At the very least, this amount of discussion demonstrates that there's probably enough healthy disagreement about the issue to err on the side of caution and leave the posts (pacé our free speech discussion the other day, no?) I respect both you and y2karl, but this whole discussion is exemplar of making mountains out of molehills.
posted by spiderwire at 2:17 PM on July 25, 2007


Stan Chin was given a gold star for his undickishness

What? Stan Chin was given a gold star for designing a "metafilter timeout corner" graphic. And yes, it was a nice design, and I have laughed heartily at many of his contributions over the years, and I'm glad he's around, but he's still quite capable of being a dick. As are we all.
posted by languagehat at 2:17 PM on July 25, 2007


Madamjujujive says it best, as usual.

Out of the world of human experience, politics can be really interesting to lots of people. Those FPPs are held to a higher standard than all others, and I'm fine with that. Why this isn't good enough for a certain group of people, I'll never understand, but they sure do love to complain. Thank Allah for the gray.
posted by bardic at 2:20 PM on July 25, 2007


As are we all.

Yes, but how many people have thanked you for calling them a dick?
posted by spiderwire at 2:22 PM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


What? Stan Chin was given a gold star for designing a "metafilter timeout corner" graphic.

Oh yeah? Well if that's true then why doesn't he still have it, smart guy?
posted by timeistight at 2:24 PM on July 25, 2007


Ethereal Bligh writes So what I'm about to say is mostly an objective observation that is, nevertheless, slightly tinged with that old conflict but more importantly motivated by the same annoyance that it's always been.

Yeah, that's pretty much the opposite of what "objective" means champ.

EB writes I could post every day on politics and science and most of what I posted would be stuff that the majority of mefites had not heard of. That wouldn't mean it was necessarily interesting to enough people to warrant it. No doubt, over time, I'd develop a fan base.

Hypothetical adoration. How precious.

EB writes Objecting to political content posts for whatever reason is as valid as objecting to YouTube posts for whatever reason, or anything else.

I've objected to YT posts. I objected to a few of y2karl's, as a matter of fact, because I thought they were extremely sloppy. The point remains that a given FPP has to stand or fall on its own merits. I don't see this as a contradiction.
posted by bardic at 2:25 PM on July 25, 2007


Anyone who is dickish enough to wear a star awarded to him is too dickish to deserve being awarded a star.
posted by found missing at 2:27 PM on July 25, 2007


Sorry, I just like saying dickish. Dickish, dickish, dickish, dickish, dickish, dickish.
posted by found missing at 2:29 PM on July 25, 2007


Oh yeah? Well if that's true then why doesn't he still have it, smart guy?

Man, sometimes it's the long, slow, quiet marathon jokes that make me smile the most. Belly laugh in the office, here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:40 PM on July 25, 2007


Hey! What happened to my gold star?!
posted by Stan Chin at 2:45 PM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's pretty much the opposite of what ‘objective’ means champ.

Hey, “champ”: read more carefully, you fucking twat.

Hypothetical adoration. How precious.

The point was that this would be true for anyone. Excepting yourself—a person whose entire MeFi personality is summarized by the phrase “fucking twat” and who couldn't earn adoration if you passed out hundred dollar bills to homeless teenage girls, even if you didn't have your dick in your hand like the last time you attempted it.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:52 PM on July 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Haha. Love ya EB. Keep up the tedious work.
posted by bardic at 2:53 PM on July 25, 2007


Madamjujujive says it best, as usual.

Yes, yes she does.
posted by caddis at 2:53 PM on July 25, 2007


(Your analogy about "homeless teenage girls" is an excellent one, by the way. Says a lot about they type of guy you are. Please, continue.)
posted by bardic at 2:58 PM on July 25, 2007


Dickish, dickish, dickish, dickish, dickish, dickish.
posted by found missing at 2:59 PM on July 25, 2007


Ethereal Bligh is so cute when he's mad.

(Your analogy about "homeless teenage girls" is an excellent one, by the way. Says a lot about they type of guy you are. Please, continue.)

Oh, please. Don't turn creative insults into ad homs. That was good.
posted by spiderwire at 3:08 PM on July 25, 2007


Speaking of creative insults, I think I'll use that as an excuse to shoehorn in a quote I just put on that other PoliticsFilter thread, because it bears repeating:

"Frankly, I have a degree of sympathy for Alberto Gonzales, who I suspect is a terrific Texas real estate attorney."
--John Dean, former White House Counsel to Richard Nixon

That's some quality snark right there.
posted by spiderwire at 3:11 PM on July 25, 2007


Man, never ever correspond via email with compulsive gut spillers. Tell them your business and you've told the world. Every character you type will be disseminated. It's always all about them. They have no concept of respect for other people's privacy. None, zero, nada, not at all.
posted by y2karl at 3:21 PM on July 25, 2007


Yeah, I wouldn't email John Dean, either.
posted by spiderwire at 3:23 PM on July 25, 2007


It's called solipsism. In the case of a bloated yet pretty hollow ego like EB's, you and the rest of us don't exist. Not in a practical sense at least.
posted by bardic at 3:25 PM on July 25, 2007


“Just ignore it” is not a valid argument. If it were, then "just ignore rockhopper" would also be a valid argument.

Yes, it would, if the statement were "ignore rockhopper's posts." It's not usually a mystery when a post is about politics. If you see one on the front page, and you don't like politics posts, you have no one but yourself to blame if you start reading it. That transparency is sometimes true of youtube posts, but not always. I don't usually like those, but even if I find myself in one, Ctrl-W eases my pain. That would work for all those who are allergic to politics, too, if they should find themselves trapped in a polipost. That some of us have mentioned disliking youtube posts is not equivalent to MeTas like this one. I honestly don't recall anyone making that big a deal about youtubery.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:39 PM on July 25, 2007


That some of us have mentioned disliking youtube posts is not equivalent to MeTas like this one. I honestly don't recall anyone making that big a deal about youtubery.

People have expressed rather strong feelings about youtubery on a number of occasions, actually. This is a pretty good example of a straightforward "enough of this shit" complaint, but a broad googling produces tons of mentions of the site, most of them negative, and it's not hard to find metatalk posts that make direct negative reference to the site as whole or part of their thesis: 1, 2, 3, etc. I'm honestly surprised I didn't find anything more strident in my first pass, and suspect it's out there to be found. Note also that I didn't bother checking individual comments, of which plenty could be cited that roundly condemn the video link trend.

It's a pretty visible theme, really.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:16 PM on July 25, 2007


(And man, I missed a great one that uses the word 'moratorium'!)
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:22 PM on July 25, 2007


"It's a pretty visible theme, really."

[cough]

posted by team lowkey at 5:24 PM on July 25, 2007


Yeah, OK, must have been constipation bias or something.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:25 PM on July 25, 2007


-I knew he was gone because I was aware of his personal situation from some email we had exchanged.-

--Man, never ever correspond via email with compulsive gut spillers. Tell them your business and you've told the world. Every character you type will be disseminated. It's always all about them. They have no concept of respect for other people's privacy. None, zero, nada, not at all.--


Is that what's known as a proportional response?
posted by peacay at 6:16 PM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's the risk of ingesting so much moral fiber, Kirth.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:23 PM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Is that what's known as a proportional response?

Oh, for Christ's sake--nobody likes being attacked over and over by the same person, no matter how sanguine one can get about it being from a stranger online and all that. Even our sainted moderators, despite all the ego boosting sucking up they get on the other hand, get the vapors after enough people pile on. Nobody likes being attacked. Especially if it's the same people saying the same shit over and over.

Sure, pulling just one sentence out of five hundred running one down makes it look like overkill but when there's been a history with someone himself right by making you wrong for years, one can get a little thin skinned. I really try to stay out of the personality conflicts with people, try not to react but I am only human.
posted by y2karl at 7:05 PM on July 25, 2007


That's someone making himself right by making you wrong, to be sure...

I can't even write a sentence right, right now. I'm tired, have had a bad day and while that's no excuse at all, there it is. I'm not at all serene right now, so... later, dudes and dudettes. I'm going out to water the garden.
posted by y2karl at 7:09 PM on July 25, 2007


Not to distract from the wonderful exchange in this thread, but:

y2karl's post merits a 400-comment MeTa callout, yet the post delmoi just made is ridiculous.">a pure PoliticsFilter post about Gonzalez' testimony today (even though it was yesterday) gets nary a peep? WTF?

Mods? Hello?
posted by spiderwire at 7:09 PM on July 25, 2007


yipes. broken link. oh well.

y2karl sounds like me after i had to deal with dios friday :)
posted by spiderwire at 7:10 PM on July 25, 2007


WTF? Mods? Hello?

spiderwire, how do you think this place works? If getting a post deleted in 45 minutes is not fast enough for you feel free to call me on the phone at home and alert me to the horror that is a weak politicsfilter post personally next time.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:14 PM on July 25, 2007


Sorry, that was meant as rhetoric, not an indictment. "WTF?" was referring to the post. "Mods? Hello?" was "come save us!" That did sound bad though, sorry. Yet again my poor composition skills shoot me in the foot :)

I'm assuming that the invitation to call you guys when there's a problem is rhetorical as well :)
posted by spiderwire at 7:17 PM on July 25, 2007


(....you can tell I took much care with my comment by how I mangled that link. Hee. The delete comment made it worth the wait at any rate.)
posted by spiderwire at 7:19 PM on July 25, 2007


Well I wasn't intending to harsh on your serenity y2karl but out of the myriad utterances in this thread to which you might respond, you chose a very oblique reference to an email. That oblique reference gave no inkling as to the email contents and yet you twisted that into some sort of outrageous outing or invasion of privacy. Unless EB has more pointedly quoted or described the contents elsewhere here previously, it just looks like you are misrepresenting what happened.
posted by peacay at 7:28 PM on July 25, 2007


Well, from the evidence on hand, there is no end to people misrepresenting what someone else said here, so take a number. At any rate, as a general statement, Never confide a thing to an open book as open books tend to be terrible gossips is neither untrue nor unsound advice.
posted by y2karl at 9:27 PM on July 25, 2007


I do not betray people's personal trust in confiding things to me by disclosing them in public. However, to be as honest possible, it's true that I'm not great about keeping confidences in terms of not talking about them with the people closest to me, as long as there's not a direct relationship. I will also talk about certain kinds of things that are, um, sensitive, with strangers and in public if I feel that the social distance beween parties and/or the identities are sufficiently obscure.

But, anyway, I'm pretty sure that I've never disclosed in comments to mefi anything sensitive, or even pretty much anything, that any mefite has written to me in an email. I know that y2karl is upset in this thread and all, but I'm trying real hard to not be upset at the accusations he's throwing around—but it's exquisitely hypocrtical of him to make this accusation as he has repeatedly quoted people's emails in contentious threads on MeTa. Okay, honestly, I can't recall the specific instances and so I can't link to them, and perhaps I'm misremembering, so I'll happily and humbly apologize—even grovel—if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure of this, and it's been more than once, even.

There is some wisdom to y2karl's point. I can't be counted on complete discretion because it's true, I am an open book and I do discuss certain personal things and people without being specific that, if they were to read MeFi and recognize themselves, they'd probably be upset by it. This is a judgment call, I am placing some confidence in the fact that they are not mentioned by name and that there's a social gap between their lives and what I write here. And it's always the case that I only mention these kinds of personal things that tend to weird people out only when I think they're relevant to the conversation. I don't do it because I'm an exhibitionist, as people assume, but because I strongly believe that personal experiences are very germane to abstract discussions.

Anyway, I'm being verbose here because I'm trying to be as fair as possible, but the bottom line is that I think that y2karl's accusation is mostly false and is certainly specifically false, and is hypocritical, to boot. Even so, after long observation of and interaction with y2karl, I think that he ought to be given some slack because he's pretty sensitive to personal criticism and he tends to overreact to it. As another person who tends to inspire polarized reactions in people, I empathize. This is a whole thread where there's been some intense criticism of y2karl, and that's very unpleasant for him. He's handled it with more grace than many other people have. I admire his frankness in admitting that this has upset him and made it difficult for him to be completely evenhanded in his responses.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:13 AM on July 26, 2007


Oh, I have quoted people's emails in the past and made every sort of mistake one can make when confronted with a medium where one can respond in the heat of an instant and, as a consequence, I try to give as much leeway as I can in regards to other people's remarks made similarly. One never knows the backstory. I just get tired of being run down in the same way by the same people over and over sometimes. But discussing people's psychologies in general on MetaTalk and revealing emails in particular are things I avoid and have for some time. You rarely see me offering drive by long distance telepathy or passing judgments on the characters of people I have never met at pile ons. And you never see me on the personal questions at Askmefi. Which reminds me, on another note: stop picking on davy, you people who pick on davy. Davy is alright.
posted by y2karl at 7:39 AM on July 26, 2007


EB: This is a whole thread where there's been some intense criticism of y2karl, and that's very unpleasant for him.

y2karl: I just get tired of being run down in the same way by the same people over and over sometimes.

I don't want to have to read this whole thread again. Could you two please point me to this personal criticism? All I remember is criticism of a subset of y2karl's posts.
posted by timeistight at 9:11 AM on July 26, 2007


Could you two please point me to this personal criticism?

Someone called him an empty-headed animal food trough wiper, and said that they fart in his general direction. Furthermore, they called his mother a hamster and said that his father smelt of elderberries
posted by found missing at 9:51 AM on July 26, 2007


Misinterpreted again! What I actually said is that we are unfit to wipe y2karl's horse down after his selfless hunt to provide food for the poor, and that it is a mystery that his gases are not bottled as perfume. Further, that his parents were most gracious for allowing the people of New Hampshire to sample their wines.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:25 AM on July 26, 2007


Ah, great, yet another one -- I know that I started this cavalcade of PoliticsFilter last week, but at least I was discussing an issue (blocking the DC Attorney from enforcing the laws) that wasn't even covered heavily on the politics blogs. Gonzales testified days ago. A post on this last night was deleted. There's nothing new here.

When I said I wish I'd written a better post on the DC Attorney / executive privilege topic, I meant it. As cortex said, "This is not the knock-em-dead mefi political magic that folks have been defending." It's really not. This is exactly the same post that delmoi made, only when he made his, it was already a day late -- this one is even later and lower-quality, if such a thing is possible.

(BTW -- jessamyn, again, I'm sorry for freaking out about delmoi's post, I really did not mean that to come off as it did.)

I feel like we need a new discussion on this topic -- bear with me for a moment, I know how that sounds -- one that doesn't start out with "y2karl sucks" or fall in the middle of a thread with dios saying "spiderwire sucks." People seem to be missing the point of our little arguments last week. Bad framing is one thing -- but even dios admitted that the DC Attorney thing was at least an interesting question. This stuff, on the other hand, is not at all different from what's scrolling across the front page of memeorandom every hour.
posted by spiderwire at 4:18 PM on July 27, 2007


It's gotten to an oh fuck it point today, re: Gonzales. If this is the post that people really want, they can have it and it doesn't need shitting in. Followups will get deleted and pointed there, and that's going to have to be good enough.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:44 PM on July 27, 2007


Fair enough. Sorry for shitting in the thread then -- feel free to delete that comment. :) I'm still wondering about the backlinking to deletes, thing, though -- I consider that something of a separate questions.

Of course, if you disagree, my feelings aren't gonna get hurt if you nuke that one either :D
posted by spiderwire at 4:50 PM on July 27, 2007


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